Dream of Dec 14, 2010
A woman with two children comes over for counseling (plus I have one). The kids are playing in the living/family room with a bunch of stuffed animals that I got at Good Will. One of the larger ones is a pink (elephant?) Another is like a lamb, with an off-white woolly coat. I decide I should wash the toys, have to take them apart to wash, so we all start ripping them apart at the seams. To my surprise and the childrens’ delight, there are all kinds of small toys, and ornaments made of wood – some larger than others. There are colourful cars and trucks among other things. I see one stuffed toy under a couch, and pull it out. Some of the ornaments I put on a stand (like a plant stand), and some I place on a beautiful dark wood coffee table, along with the toy metal cars and trucks (and other vehicles). The children are having such fun!
After they all leave, I go into the den/tea room where there’s a piano. I’m aware that I had blocked this room off before they came, as I hadn’t cleaned it. There are dust bunnies on the floor. I sweep them up.
Mystics have always traditionally considered the feminine aspect of
the universe as a chest, a house or a wall, as well as an enclosed garden. Another
symbolic association is that which equates the house (and the above, related
forms) with the repository of all wisdom, that is, tradition itself (4). In architectural symbolism, on the other hand, the house carries not only an overall symbolism but also particular associations attached to each of its component parts.
Nevertheless, the house as a home arouses strong, spontaneous associations with
the human body and human thought (or life, in other words), as has been confirmed empirically by psychoanalysts. Ania Teillard explains this by pointing
out that, in dreams, we employ the image of the house as a representation of the
different layers of the psyche. The outside of the house signifies the outward
appearance of Man: his personality or his mask. The various floors are related to
the vertical and spatial symbols. The roof and upper floor correspond to the head
and the mind, as well as to the conscious exercise of self-control. Similarly, the
basement corresponds to the unconscious and the instincts (just as sewers do, in
symbols pertaining to the city). The kitchen, since this is where foodstuff is
transformed, sometimes signifies the place or the moment of psychic transmutation in the alchemical sense. The intercommunicating rooms speak for themselves. The stairs are the link between the various planes of the psyche, but their
particular significance depends upon whether they are seen as ascending or descending. Finally, there is, as we have said, the association of the house with the
human body, especially regarding its openings, as was well understood by
Artemidorus Daldianus (56).
To see a house in your dream, represents your own soul and self. Specific rooms in the house indicate a specific aspect of your psyche. In general, the attic represents your intellect, the basement represents the unconscious, etc. If the house is empty, then it indicates feelings of insecurity. If the house is shifting, then it suggests that you are going through some personal changes and changing your belief system. To dream that a house has no walls, represents a lack of privacy. You feel that everyone is looking over your shoulder or up in your business.
To dream that you are cleaning your house, signifies your need to clear out your thoughts and get rid of old ways. You are seeking self-improvement.
If you live with others in your waking life, but dream that you are living alone, suggests that you need to take new steps toward independence. You need to accept responsibilities and be more self-reliant.
To see an old, run-down house in your dream, represents your old beliefs, attitudes and how you used to think or feel. A situation in your current life may be bringing about those same old attitudes and feelings. Alternatively, the old house may symbolize your need to update you mode of thinking. To dream that your house is damaged, indicates your waking concerns about the condition of your house.
To see a new house in your dream, indicates that you are entering into a new phase or new area in your life. You are becoming more emotionally mature. If you are locked out of the house, then it represents rejection and insecurity. You feel you are being left behind.
To dream that your house is broken into, suggests that you are feeling violated. It may refer to a particular relationship or current situation in your life. Alternatively, it indicates that some unconscious material is attempting to make itself known. There are some aspects of yourself that you have denied.
To dream of a haunted house, signifies unfinished emotional business, related to your childhood family, dead relatives, or repressed memories and feelings.
To dream that a house has disappeared, indicates that you are not feeling grounded. You feel uprooted by a particular circumstance or relationship in your life.
To dream that water is rising up in your house, suggests that you are becoming overwhelmed by your emotions.
To dream of building a house, you will make wise changes in your present affairs.
To dream that you own an elegant house, denotes that you will soon leave your home for a better, and fortune will be kind to you.
Old and dilapidated houses, denote failure in business or any effort, and declining health.
Seeing a house in your dream, represents your own soul and self. Specific rooms in the house indicate a specific aspect of your psyche. In general, the attic represents your intellect, the basement represents the unconscious, etc. If the house is empty, then it indicates feelings of insecurity. If the house is shifting, then it suggests that you are going through some personal changes and changing your belief system. Dreaming that you are cleaning your house means your need to clear out your thoughts and getting rid of old ways. You are seeking self-improvement. Seeing an old, run-down house in your dream, represents your old beliefs, attitudes and how you used to think or feel. A situation in your current life may be bringing about those same old attitudes and feelings. Alternatively, the old house may symbolize your need to update you mode of thinking. Dreaming that your house is broken into, suggests that you are feeling violated. It may refer to a particular relationship or current situation in your life. Alternatively, it indicates that some unconscious material is attempting to make itself known. There are some aspects of yourself that you have denied. Dreaming of a haunted house means unfinished emotional business, related to your childhood family, dead relatives, or repressed memories and feelings. Dreaming that a house disappeared, indicates that you are not feeling grounded. You feel uprooted by a particular circumstance or relationship in your life.
It is common to dream about houses. They usually symbolise our emotional and psychological selves. All of your experiences, stages of development, and parts of your conscious and unconscious life may be represented by that house. The house may be representing issues concerning a particular dilemma in your life, or it may be more general and comprehensive. Either way, if you pay attention to the details in this dream, you may learn a thing or two about yourself.
To dream that you are pleasantly surprised, indicates that you are open to acknowledging and confronting your unconscious feelings.
To dream that you are unpleasantly surprised, suggests fear of the unexpected and unknown. You do not want to face your feelings.
Dreaming that you are pleasantly surprised indicates that you are opened in acknowledging and confronting your unconscious feelings. Dreaming that you are unpleasantly surprised, suggests fear of the unexpected and unknown. You are not wanting to face your feelings.
Of the utmost importance in symbolism, both in connexion with
their distinguishing features, their movement, shapes and colours, and because of
their relationship with man. The origins of animal symbolism are closely linked
with totemism and animal worship. The symbolism of any given animal varies
according to its position in the symbolic pattern, and to the attitude and context
in which it is depicted. Thus the frequent symbol of the ‘tamed animal’ can
signify the reversal of those symbolic meanings associated with the same animal
when wild. In the struggle between a knight and a wild or fabulous animal—one of
the most frequent themes in symbolism—the knight’s victory can consist either
in the death or in the taming of the animal. In Chrétien de Troyes’ mediaeval
romance, Yvain, the hero is assisted by a lion. In the legend of St. George, the
conquered dragon serves its conqueror. In the West, some of the earliest references to animal symbolism are found in Aristotle and in Pliny, but the most
important source is the treatise Physiologus, written in Alexandria in the 2nd
century A.D. Another important contribution was made one or two centuries
later by Horapollo, with his two treatises on Hieroglyphica, based on Egyptian
symbolism. From these sources flows a stream of mediaeval animal symbolism
which produced such notable bestiaries as that of Philip of Thaun (A.D. 1121),
Peter of Picardy and William of Normandy (13th century); or the De Animalibus,
attributed to Albertus Magnus; Libre de les besties of Raymond Lull; and
Fournival’s Bestiaire d’Amour (14th century). The primitives’ view of animals,
as analysed by Schneider (50), is mirrored in all these works, namely that while
man is an equivocal, ‘masked’ or complex being, the animal is univocal, for its
positive or negative qualities remain ever constant, thus making it possible to
classify each animal, once and for all, as belonging to a specific mode of cosmic
phenomena. More generally, the different stages of animal evolution, as manifested by the varying degrees of biological complexity, ranging from the insect and
the reptile to the mammal, reflect the hierarchy of the instincts. In Assyrian and
Persian bas-reliefs, the victory of a higher over a lower animal always stands for
the victory of the higher life over the lower instincts. A similar case is in the
characteristic struggle of the eagle with the snake as found in pre-Columbian
America. The victory of the lion over the bull usually signifies the victory of Day
over Night and, by analogy, Light triumphing over Darkness and Good over Evil.
The symbolic classification of animals is often related to that of the four Elements. Animals such as the duck, the frog and the fish, however much they may
differ one from the other, are all connected with the idea of water and hence with
the concept of the ‘primal waters’; consequently, they can stand as symbols of
the origin of things and of the powers of rebirth (37, 9). On the other hand, some animals, such as dragons and snakes, are sometimes assigned to water, sometimes
to earth and sometimes even to fire (17). However, the most generally accepted
classification—which is also the most fundamentally correct—associates aquatic
and amphibious animals with water; reptiles with earth; birds with air; and mammals (because they are warm-blooded) with fire. For the purposes of symbolic
art, animals are subdivided into two categories: natural (often in antithetical
pairs: toad/frog, owl/eagle, etc.) and fabulous. Within the cosmic order, the latter
occupy an intermediate position between the world of fully differentiated beings
and the world of formless matter (50). They may have been suggested by the
discovery of skeletons of antediluvian animals, and also by certain beings which,
though natural, are ambiguous in appearance (carnivorous plants, sea urchins,
flying fish, bats), and thus stand for flux and transformism, and also for purposeful evolution towards new forms. In any event, fabulous animals are powerful
instruments of psychological projection. The most important fabulous animals
are: chimaera, sphinx, lamia, minotaur, siren, triton, hydra, unicorn, griffin, harpy,
winged horse, hippogryph, dragon, etc. In some of these the transmutation is a
simple one, and clearly positive in character—such as Pegasus’ wings (the spiritualization of a lower force)—but more often the symbol is a consequence of a
more complex and ambiguous process of the imagination. The result is a range of
highly ambivalent symbols, whose significance is heightened by the ingrained
belief in the great powers exercised by such beings as well as in the magic importance of abnormality and deformity. In addition, there are animals which, while
hardly or not at all fabulous in appearance, are credited with non-existential or
supernatural qualities as the result of a symbolic projection (for example, the
pelican, phoenix, salamander). There is a fragment by Callimachus on the Age of
Saturn, in which animals have the power of speech (this being a symbol of the
Golden Age which preceded the emergence of the intellect—Man—when the
blind forces of Nature, not yet subject to the logos, were endowed with all sorts
of extraordinary and exalted qualities). Hebrew and Islamic traditions also include
references to ‘speaking animals’ (35). Another interesting classification is that of
‘lunar animals’, embracing all those animals whose life-span includes some kind
of cyclic alternation, with periodic appearances and disappearances (18). The
symbolism of such animals includes, in addition to the animal’s specific symbolic
significance, a whole range of lunar meanings. Schneider also mentions a very
curious primitive belief: namely, that the voice of those animals which can be said
to serve as symbols of heaven is high-pitched if the animal is large (the elephant,
for example), but low-pitched if the animal is small (as the bee); while the converse is true of earth-symbol animals. Some animals, in particular the eagle and the lion, seem to embody certain qualities, such as beauty and the fighting spirit,
to such an extent that they have come to be universally accepted as the allegorical
representations of these qualities. The emblematic animals of Roman signa were:
eagle, wolf, bull, horse and wild boar. In symbolism, whenever animals (or any
other symbolic elements) are brought together in a system, the order of arrangement is always highly significant, implying either hierarchical precedence or relative position in space. In alchemy, the descending order of precedence is symbolized by different animals, thus: the phoenix (the culmination of the alchemical
opus), the unicorn, the lion (the necessary qualities), the dragon (prime matter)
(32). Symbolic groups of animals are usually based on analogical and numerical
patterns: the tetramorphs of Western tradition, as found in the Bible, are a fundamental example; another example would be the Chinese series of the four benevolent animals: the unicorn, phoenix, turtle and dragon. The following animals occur
particularly in Romanesque art: the peacock, ox, eagle, hare, lion, cock, crane,
locust and partridge (50). Their symbolic meaning is mainly derived from the
Scriptures or from patristic tradition, though some meanings, arising from analogy, such as that between cruelty and the leopard, are immediately obvious (20).
The importance in Christianity of the symbols of the dove, the lamb and the fish
is well known. The significance of the attitudes in which symbolic animals are
depicted is usually self-evident: the counterbalancing of two identical—or two
different— animals, so common in heraldry, stands for balance (i.e. justice and
order, as symbolized for instance by the two snakes of the caduceus); the animals
are usually shown supporting a shield or surmounting the crest of a helmet. Jung
supports this interpretation with his observation that the counterbalancing of the
lion and the unicorn in Britain’s coat of arms stands for the inner stress of
balanced opposites finding their equilibrium in the centre (32). In alchemy, the
counterbalancing of the male and the female of the same species (lion/lioness, dog/
bitch) signifies the essential contrast between sulphur and mercury, the fixed and
the volatile elements. This is also the case when a winged animal is opposed to a
wingless one. The ancient interest in animals as vehicles of cosmic meanings, over
and above the mere fact of their physical existence, persisted from the earliest
beginnings of the Neolithic Age up to as late as 1767, with the publication of such
works as Jubile van den Heyligen Macarius. This treatise describes processions
in which each symbolic chariot has a characteristic animal (the peacock, phoenix,
pelican, unicorn, lion, eagle, stag, ostrich, dragon, crocodile, wild boar, goat, swan,
winged horse, rhinoceros, tiger and elephant). These same animals, together with
many others (such as the duck, donkey, ox, owl, horse, camel, ram, pig, deer stork, cat, griffin, ibis, leopard, wolf, fly, bear, bird, dove, panther, fish,-snake
and fox) are those mainly used also as watermarks in papermaking. The use of
watermarks, undoubtedly mystical and symbolic in origin, spread throughout the
Western world from the end of the 13th century onwards. All the above particular
symbolic uses rest on a general symbolism of animals, in which they are related to
three main ideas: the animal as a mount (i.e. as a means of transport); as an object
of sacrifice; and as an inferior form of life (4). The appearance of animals in
dreams or visions, as in Fuseli’s famous painting, expresses an energy still undifferentiated and not yet rationalized, nor yet mastered by the will (in the sense of
that which controls the instincts) (31). According to Jung, the animal stands for
the non-human psyche, for the world of subhuman instincts, and for the unconscious areas of the psyche. The more primitive the animal, the deeper the stratum
of which it is an expression. As in all symbolism, the greater the number of objects
depicted, the baser and the more primitive is the meaning (56). Identifying oneself
with animals represents integration of the unconscious and sometimes—like immersion in the primal waters—rejuvenation through bathing in the sources of life
itself (32). It is obvious that, for pre-Christian man (as well as in amoral cults),
the animal signifies exaltation rather than opposition. This is clearly seen in the
Roman signa, showing eagles and wolves symbolically placed on cubes (the
earth) and spheres (heaven, the universe) in order to express the triumphant
power of the force of an instinct. With regard to mythic animals, a more extensive
treatment of this subject is to be found in the Manual de zoología fantástica of
Borges y Guerrero (Mexico and Buenos Aires, 1957), in which such creatures are
characterized as basically symbolic and, in most cases, expressive of ‘cosmic
To see animals in your dream, represent your own physical characteristic, primitive desires, and sexual nature, depending on the qualities of the particular animal. Animals symbolize the untamed and uncivilized aspects of yourself. Thus, to dream that you are fighting with an animal signifies a hidden part of yourself that you are trying to reject and push back into your subconscious. Refer to the specific animal in your dream.
To dream that animals can talk, represent superior knowledge. Its message is often some form of wisdom. Alternatively, a talking animal denotes your potential to be all that you can be.
To dream that you are saving the life of an animal, suggests that you are successfully acknowledging certain emotions and characteristics represented by the animal. The dream may also stem from feelings of inadequacy or being overwhelmed. If you are setting an animal free, then it indicates an expression and release of your own primal desires.
To see lab animals in your dream, suggest that an aspect of yourself is being repressed. You feel that you are not able to fully express your desires and emotions. Alternatively, it suggests that you need to experiment with your fears, choices, and beliefs. Try not to limit yourself.
A symbol of individuality—of private thoughts. The windows symbolize the possibility of understanding and of passing through to the external and
the beyond, and are also an illustration of any idea of communication. Hence, a
closed room lacking windows may be symbolic of virginity, according to Frazer,
and also of other kinds of non-communication. Many rites involving the
enclosureimage are performed to mark the reaching of puberty, all over the world.
The legend about Danae, shut up by her father in a bronze tower, pertains to this
particular symbolism. There is a Siberian legend concerning a ‘dark house of iron’
which is also relevant to it (21). We might also mention the ‘vase with a lid’, one
of the eight emblems of good luck in Chinese Buddhism, and a symbol of wholeness, of the idea with no ‘exit’, or, in other words, of supreme intelligence triumphant over birth and death (signified respectively by the doors and windows of
the room) (5). This explains why the hermetically sealed room may possibly be
a variant form of the ‘vase with a lid’.
To dream that you are in a room, represents a particular aspect of yourself or a specific relationship. Dreams about various rooms often relate to hidden areas of the conscious mind and different aspects of your personality. If the room is welcoming or comfortable, then it signifies opulence and satisfaction in life. If you see a dark or confined room, then it denotes that you feel trapped or repressed in a situation.
To dream that you find or discover a new room, suggests that you are developing new strengths and taking on new roles. You may be growing emotionally. Consider what you find in the discovered room as it may indicate repressed memories, fears, or rejected emotions. Alternatively, such rooms are symbolic of neglected skills or rejected potential.
To dream that you are in an empty white room, indicates a fresh start. It is like a blank canvas where you want to start life anew. Alternatively, the dream means that you are trying to isolate yourself. You do not want any outside influences.
To dream of a yellow room, suggests that you need to use your mind. You are feeling stimulated mentally.
Dreaming that you are in a room, represents a particular aspect of yourself or a particular relationship. Dreams about various rooms often relate to hidden areas of the conscious mind and different aspects of your personality. Dreaming that you find or discover new rooms, suggests that you are developing new strengths and taking on new roles. You may be growing emotionally. Seeing an appealing or comfortable room in your dream means opulence and satisfaction in life. Seeing a dark, eerie or confining room indicates that that you feel trapped or repressed in a situation.
To see children in your dream, signify an aspect of yourself and your childlike qualities. You may be retreating back to a childlike state and longing for the past. You are trying to still satisfy repressed desires and unfulfilled hopes. Perhaps there is something that you need to see grow and nurture. Take some time off and cater to the inner child within. Alternatively, the dream may be highlighting your innocence, purity, simplicity, and carefree attitude. If you are fighting with children, then it implies that you are repressing your inner child. The children could represent someone in your waking life (coworker, mate, sibling, etc.) who is acting like a child. If you see children fighting in your dream, then it means that your sense of morality and character are in conflict.
To forget about your child or children, suggests that you are feeling overwhelmed by your waking responsibilities. The dream is telling you that you are overly fixating on minor details and overlooking the important things on your life. You need to re-prioritize your time and focus on what matters. To dream that your own grown children are still very young, indicates that you still see them as young and dependent. You want to feel needed and significant.
To dream that you are watching children but they do not know you are there, is a metaphor for some hidden knowledge or some latent talent which you have failed to recognize.
To save a child in your dream, signifies your attempts to save a part of yourself from being destroyed. If you dream that you are separated from your children, then it symbolizes failure in some personal endeavor or a setback in some ideal you had.
``Dream of children sweet and fair,
To you will come suave debonair,
Fortune robed in shining dress,
Bearing wealth and happiness.''
To dream of seeing many beautiful children is portentous of great prosperity and blessings.
For a mother to dream of seeing her child sick from slight cause, she may see it enjoying robust health, but trifles of another nature may harass her.
To see children working or studying, denotes peaceful times and general prosperity.
To dream of seeing your child desperately ill or dead, you have much to fear, for its welfare is sadly threatened.
To dream of your dead child, denotes worry and disappointment in the near future.
To dream of seeing disappointed children, denotes trouble from enemies, and anxious forebodings from underhanded work of seemingly friendly people.
To romp and play with children, denotes that all your speculating and love enterprises will prevail.
Seeing children in your dream means your own childlike qualities or a retreat back to a childlike state. It is an extension of your inner child during a time of innocence, purity, simplicity, and a carefree attitude. You may be longing for the past and the chance to satisfy repressed desires and unfulfilled hopes. Take some time off and cater to the inner child within. Perhaps there is something that you need to see grow and nurtured. Dreaming that your own grown children are still very young indicates that you still see them as young and dependent. You want to feel needed and significant. Dreaming that you are watching children but they do not know you are there, is a metaphor for some hidden knowledge or some latent talent which you have failed to recognize. To save a child means your attempts to save a part of yourself from being destroyed.
The number one is equivalent to the ‘Centre’, to the non-manifest point,
to the creative power or the ‘unmoved mover’. Plotinus equates one with moral
purpose, and multiplicity with evil—a distinction which is in complete accord
with symbolist doctrine.
Toys are symbols of temptation. According to Diel, this is the meaning
when, in Greek mythology, the Titans offer toys to the infant Dionysos (15). A
similar trial confronted Achilles when he was given a choice of jewels and valuables, among them a sword, which the hero chose without hesitation.
To see toys in dreams, foretells family joys, if whole and new, but if broken, death will rend your heart with sorrow.
To see children at play with toys, marriage of a happy nature is indicated.
To give away toys in your dreams, foretells you will be ignored in a social way by your acquaintances.
To see or play with toys in your dream, symbolize childhood, domestic joy and harmony. You may be searching for the comfort and security of home. It also represents playful attitudes and your childish ways. Alternatively, the dream may be a metaphor that you are "toying" with somebody's feelings, especially if you are playing together with someone in the dream. Perhaps you are leading someone on.
To dream that you are giving away toys, denote that you are being acknowledged for your good deeds.
To see or play with broken toys in your dream, suggest that you are trying to make the best out of a negative situation. If you or someone breaks a toy, then it indicates a lack of joy, harmony, or security in your life. You are no longer deriving as much joy from some aspect of your life as you used to. Consider the type of toy and its significance to you.
Seeing toys in your dream, symbolizes childhood, domestic joy and harmony. You may be searching for the comfort and security of home. It also represents playful attitudes and your childish ways. Seeing others playing with toys, foretells of a happy and successful marriage. Dreaming that you are giving away toys indicates that you will not be recognized for your good deeds.
A mother-symbol (31). Burnt wood signifies wisdom and death (50).
The magic and fertilizing propensities of the wood burnt in sacrificial rites are
supposed to be transmitted to the ashes and the charcoal. Cremation is regarded
as a return to the ‘seed’-state; this has given rise to many rites and folklore
customs, related in turn to fire-symbolism (17).
To dream of wood, suggests that you are feeling dead and emotionless inside. Your behavior is too automated. You are not fully thinking things through. Alternatively, the dream may be a pun on "getting wood" or sexual arousal.
To dream that you are carving or shaping a piece of wood, indicates a power-giving act or creative gesture. You are molding or shaping the course of your own life. Alternatively, the carved wood symbolizes spirituality and vital energy.
Dreaming of wood, suggests that you are feeling dead inside and emotionless. You may be behaving automatically and just going along with the flow. Or you may be acting out without fully thinking things through. Dreaming that you are carving or shaping a piece of wood indicates a power-giving, creative act/gesture. Alternatively, the wood may also symbolize spirituality and vital energy.
To dream of seeing cars, denotes journeying and changing in quick succession. To get on one shows that travel which you held in contemplation will be made under different auspices than had been calculated upon.
To miss one, foretells that you will be foiled in an attempt to forward your prospects.
To get off of one, denotes that you will succeed with some interesting schemes which will fill you with self congratulations.
To dream of sleeping-cars, indicates that your struggles to amass wealth is animated by the desire of gratifying selfish and lewd principles which should be mastered and controlled.
To see street-cars in your dreams, denotes that some person is actively interested in causing you malicious trouble and disquiet.
To ride on a car, foretells that rivalry and jealousy will enthrall your happiness.
To stand on the platform of a street-car while it is running, denotes you will attempt to carry on an affair which will be extremely dangerous, but if you ride without accident you will be successful.
If the platform is up high, your danger will be more apparent, but if low, you will barely accomplish your purpose.