I remember my most frightening terror dream from childhood. It was definitely the most frightening dream I've ever had and it remains etched in my memory with perfect clarity.
I was wandering a dirt road, through a medieval city. The sky was blood red and filled with billowing black smoke. I was surrounded by bustle in the street. People walking fast and guiding carts led by horses.
Somehow, my hand got trapped under the wheel of one of the carts and I felt an excruciating pain as my thumb was crushed. Once the cart had rolled by, I retrieved my hand to see the damage. My thumb was a stump of pulpy mash; completely mangled. I started to panic, but I didn't have time to seek help. As soon as I turned back to the road, I saw a dark figure approaching on a tall horse. I was taken, led down the road, to a gathering of people; an angry mob. They were lit by the light of their fiery torches and in the center of the ring was a man. He was chubby and pasty, covered in sweat and dirt.
He was unmoving and emotionless, hands bound behind his back. I was led to stand directly in front of him, my face only a foot away from his. A figure approached - an executioner. He was also shirtless, in a dark leather hood and wielding an enormous and razor-sharp ax.
I was made to watch - unable to look away - as the man in front of me was killed by the man with the ax. But it was a strange sort of execution. His head was not removed. Instead, the ax would pass over his face and shave away a layer of about an inch thick with each pass. With my face only inches from his, I observed as this man was deconstructed one layer at a time.
It was gruesome and horrifying. I was about 5 or 6 years old at the time and to this day have no idea what such imagery could have symbolized. The thumb is a direct reference to an instance where I slammed my thumb in a sliding glass door hard enough to lose the nail. That was my most scary injury from my childhood at the time and I can understand how the experience would have reverberated into my dreams. But the horror of the man being cut away layer by layer... I can only interpret as a reference to the depth of layers of a person being torn away. But I really have no clue why I was focused on this theme, or why it would have interpreted in my dream as such a gruesome event.
To see your own face in your dream, represents the persona you show to the world as oppose to the real you. It may refer to how you confront problems and deal with issues in your life.
To dream that your face is flawed or pimply, symbolizes erupting emotions. You may be suffering an attack on your persona or your reputation. According to folklore, if you dream that your face is swollen, then it means that you will see an improvement to your financial situation.
To dream that you or someone has two faces or that the faces changes quickly from one person to another, indicates untrustworthiness. You or someone in your life is acting "two-faced".
To dream that you are washing your face, suggests that you need to come clean about some matter.
This dream is favorable if you see happy and bright faces, but significant of trouble if they are disfigured, ugly, or frowning on you.
To a young person, an ugly face foretells lovers' quarrels; or for a lover to see the face of his sweetheart looking old, denotes separation and the breaking up of happy associations.
To see a strange and weird-looking face, denotes that enemies and misfortunes surround you.
To dream of seeing your own face, denotes unhappiness; and to the married, threats of divorce will be made.
To see your face in a mirror, denotes displeasure with yourself for not being able to carry out plans for self-advancement. You will also lose the esteem of friends.
Seeing your own face in your dream indicates the persona you choose to show to the world as oppose to the real you. It may refer to confrontations and your willingness to deal with problems and issues in your life. Dreaming that you face is flawed or pimply, represents erupting emotions. You may have suffered an attack on your persona or your reputation.
Man comes to see himself as a symbol in so far as he is conscious of his
being. Hallstatt art, in Austria, shows fine examples of animal-heads with human
figures appearing above them. In India, in New Guinea, in the West as well, the
bull’s or ox’s head with a human form drawn between the horns is a very common
motif. Since the bull is a symbol for the father-heaven, man comes to be seen as
both his and the earth’s son (22), also, as a third possibility, the son of the sun and
the moon (49). The implications of Origen’s remark: ‘Understand that you are
another world in miniature and that in you are the sun, the moon and also the
stars’, are to be found in all symbolic traditions. In Moslem esoteric thought, man
is the symbol of universal existence (29), an idea which has found its way into
contemporary philosophy in the definition of man as ‘the messenger of being’;
however, in symbolic theory, man is not defined by function alone (that of
appropriating the consciousness of the cosmos), but rather by analogy, whereby
he is seen as an image of the universe. This analogical relationship is sometimes
expressed explicitly, as in some of the more ancient sections of the Upanishads—
the Brihadaranyaka and the Chandogya for instance—where the analogy between the human organism and the macrocosmos is drawn step by step by means
of correspondences with the organs of the body and the senses (7). So, for
example, the components of the nervous system are derived from fiery substance, and blood from watery substance (26). These oriental concepts first
appear in the West during the Romanesque period: Honorius of Autun, in his Elucidarium (12th century) states that the flesh (and the bones) of man are
derived from the earth, blood from water, his breath from air, and body-heat from
fire. Each part of the body relates to a corresponding part of the universe: the
head corresponds to the heavens, the breath to air, the belly to the sea, the lower
extremities to earth. The five senses were given analogies in accordance with a
system which came to Europe, perhaps, from the Hebrews and the Greeks (14).
Thus, Hildegard of Bingen, living in the same period, states that man is disposed
according to the number five: he is of five equal parts in height and five in girth; he
has five senses, and five members, echoed in the hand as five fingers. Hence the
pentagram is a sign of the microcosmos. Agrippa of Nettesheim represented this graphically, after Valeriano, who drew the analogy between the five-pointed star
and the five wounds of Christ. There is a relationship, too, between the organic
laws of Man and the Cistercian temple (14). Fabre d’Olivet, following the Cabala,
maintains that another number closely associated with the human being is nine—
the triple ternary. He divides human potentialities into three planes: those of the
body, of the soul or life and of the spirit. Each of these planes is characterized by
three modes: the active, the passive and the neutral (43). In the Far East, also,
speculation about the symbolism of man began very early. The same kind of
triple ternary organization is to be seen in the ancient teachings of the Taoists
(13). It is also interesting to note that there is a relationship between the human
being and the essential or archetypal animals (the turtle, the phoenix, the dragon
and the unicorn) who appear to bear the same relation to man—who is central—
as the tetramorphs do to the Pantokrator. Now, between man as a concrete
individual and the universe there is a medial term—a mesocosmos. And this
mesocosmos is the ‘Universal Man’, the King (Wang) in Far Eastern tradition,
and the Adam Kadmon of the Cabala. He symbolizes the whole pattern of the
world of manifestation, that is, the complete range of possibilities open to mankind. In a way, the concept corresponds to Jung’s ‘collective unconscious’. According to Guénon, Leibniz—perhaps influenced by Raymond Lull—conceded
that every ‘individual substance’ must contain within itself an integral reproduction of the universe, even if only as an image, just as the seed contains the totality
of the being into which it will develop (25). In Indian symbolism, Vaishvânara, or
the ‘Universal Man’, is divided into seven principal sections: (1) The superior,
luminous spheres as a whole, or the supreme states of being; (2) the sun and the
moon—or rather, the principles to which they pertain—as expressed in the right
and the left eye respectively; (3) the fire-principle—the mouth; (4) the directions
of space—the ears; (5) the atmosphere—the lungs; (6) the intermediary zone
between earth and heaven—the stomach; (7) the earth—the natural functions or
the lower part of the body. The heart is not mentioned, because, being the ‘centre’
or dwelling-place of Brahma, it is regarded as being beyond the ‘wheel’ of things
(26). Now, this concept of the ‘Universal Man’ implies hermaphroditism, though
never specifically. For the concrete, existential human being, in so far as he is
either a man or a woman, represents the dissected ‘human’ whole, not only in the
physical sense but also spiritually. Thus, to quote the Upanishads: ‘He was, in
truth, as big as a man and a woman embracing. He divided this atman into two
parts; from them sprang husband and wife.’ In Western iconography one sometimes finds images which would seem to be echoes of this concept (32). A human
couple, by their very nature, must always symbolize the urge to unite what is in
fact discrete. Figures which are shown embracing one another, or joining hands, or growing out of roots which bind them together, and so on, symbolize ‘conjunction’, that is, coincidentia oppositorum. There is a Hindu image representing the
‘joining of the unjoinable’ (analogous to the marriage of fire and water) by the
interlinking of Man and Woman, which may be taken to symbolize the joining of
all opposites: good and bad, high and low, cold and hot, wet and dry, and so on
(32). In alchemy, Man and Woman symbolize sulphur and mercury (the metal).
In psychology, level-symbolism is often brought to bear upon the members of the
body, so that the right side corresponds to the conscious level and the left to the
unconscious. The shapes of the parts of the body, depending upon whether they
are positive or negative—whether they are protuberances or cavities—should be
seen not only as sex-symbols but also in the light of the symbolism of levels. The
head is almost universally regarded as a symbol of virility (56). The attitudes
which the body may take up are of great symbolic importance, because they are
both the instrument and the expression of the human tendency towards ascendence
and evolution. A position with the arms wide open pertains to the symbolism of
the cross. And a posture in the form of the letter ‘X’ refers to the union of the two
worlds, a symbol which is related to the hour-glass, the ‘X’ and all other symbols
of intersection (50). Another important posture is that of Buddha in the traditional iconography of the Orient, a posture characteristic also of some Celtic gods
such as the so-called ‘Bouray god’ or the famous Roquepertuse figure. This
squatting position expresses the renunciation of the ‘baser part’ and of ambulatory movement and symbolizes identification with the mystic centre.
To see a man in your dream, denotes the aspect of yourself that is assertive, rational, aggressive, and/or competitive. Perhaps you need to incorporate these aspects into your own character. If the man is known to you, then the dream may reflect you feelings and concerns you have about him.
If you are a woman and dream that you are in the arms of a man, then it suggests that you are accepting and welcoming your stronger assertive personality. It may also highlight your desires to be in a relationship and your image of the ideal man.
To see an old man in your dream, represents wisdom or forgiveness. The old man may be a archetypal figure who is offering guidance to some daily problem.
To dream of a man, if handsome, well formed and supple, denotes that you will enjoy life vastly and come into rich possessions. If he is misshapen and sour-visaged, you will meet disappointments and many perplexities will involve you.
For a woman to dream of a handsome man, she is likely to have distinction offered her. If he is ugly, she will experience trouble through some one whom she considers a friend.
Seeing a man in your dream indicates the masculine aspect of yourself - the side that is assertive, rational, aggressive, and/or competitive. If the man is known to you, then the dream may reflect you feelings and concerns you have about him. If you are a woman and dream that you are in the arms of a man, suggests that you are accepting and welcoming your stronger assertive personality . It may also highlight your desires to be in a relationship and your image of the ideal man. Seeing an old man in your dream, represents wisdom or forgiveness.
All different kinds of people clutter our dream landscape. The men in your dream may include family members or total strangers. You may dream about your father, son, husband, or friend and should interpret the dream according to its details. A man, particularly the father figure, may represent collective consciousness and the traditional human spirit. He is the Yang and his energy, when mobilised, creates the earthly realities. Depending on the details of the dream, the masculine figure could be interpreted as the Creator or Destroyer. At times, women dream about men that are strangers to them. These men may represent the women's unconscious psychic energy. At times, a strange and ominous man in men's dreams could represent their "shadow" or their negativity and darker sides of personality.
To dream of seeing a thumb, foretells that you will be the favorite of artful persons and uncertain fortune.
If you are suffering from a sore thumb, you will lose
in business, and your companions will prove disagreeable.
To dream that you have no thumb, implies destitution and loneliness.
If it seems unnaturally small, you will enjoy pleasure for a time.
If abnormally large, your success will be rapid and brilliant.
A soiled thumb indicates gratification of loose desires. If the thumb has a very long nail, you are liable to fall into evil through seeking strange pleasures.
To see a thumb in your dream, indicates that you need to get a grip on things. It is symbolic of power and ability. If you are giving the thumbs up, then it represents approval and that you are "okay" to proceed. If you are giving the thumbs down, then it means disapproval.
To dream that you have no thumbs, denotes poverty and loneliness.
To dream that you have an abnormally large thumb, signifies a rapid rise to success.
To dream that your thumb has a very long nail, signifies that some negative force is luring you toward some illicit activity.
Seeing a thumb in your dream indicates that you need to get a grip on things. It is symbolic of power and ability, Dreaming that you have no thumbs indicates poverty and loneliness. Dreaming that you have an abnormally large thumb means a rapid rise to success. Dreaming that your thumb has a very long nail indicates that you will be lured by into evil by seeking strange illicit pleasures.
To see a road in your dream, refers to your sense of direction and how you are pursuing your goals. If the road is winding, curvy, or bumpy in your dream, then it suggests that you will encounter many obstacles and setbacks toward achieving your goals. You may be met with unexpected difficulties. If the road is dark, then it reflects the controversial or more frightening choices which you have made or are making.
If the road is smooth and bordered by trees or flowers, then it denotes a steady progress and steady climb up the social ladder. If the road is straight and narrow, then it means that your path to success is going as planned.
To see an unknown road in your dream, represents a path that has not been ventured. You are setting a new precedence for something.
To dream that a threatening creature is on a road, parallels a hostile situation/person you are encountering in your waking life. It is an obstacle that you need to overcome, no matter how intimidating the situation or person may appear.
Traveling over a rough, unknown road in a dream, signifies new undertakings, which will bring little else than grief and loss of time.
If the road is bordered with trees and flowers, there will be some pleasant and unexpected fortune for you. If friends accompany you, you will be successful in building an ideal home, with happy children and faithful wife, or husband.
To lose the road, foretells that you will make a mistake in deciding some question of trade, and suffer loss in consequence.
Seeing a road in your dream indicates your sense of direction and pursuit of your goals. Seeing a winding, curvy, or bumpy road in your dream, suggests that you will experience many obstacles and setbacks in achieving your goals. You may be met with unexpected difficulties. If the road is dark, then it reflects the darker or more frightening choices which you have made or are making. Seeing a smooth road bordered by green trees and flowers indicates a steady progress and steady climb up the social ladder. If the road is straight and narrow, then it means that your path to success is going according as planned. Seeing an unknown road in your dream means that you new project will cause more grief than it is worth and a waste of time. Dreaming that a threatening creature is on a road, parallels a hostile situation/person you are encountering in your waking life. It is an obstacle that you need to overcome, no matter how intimidating the situation or person may appear.
It usually symbolises the journey that we take to achieve our goals. The road in the dream represents a road in your life. It could be the road to your heart, spirit, or mind. Consider the kind of road that you are on and try to see how it relates to your daily realities. If the road is straight, well marked and lit, it may be reinforcement to you that you are moving in the right directions. If there are many obstacles and the road is very hard, consider your options.
To see an ax in your dream, indicates that you are overly controlling. It is symbolic of destruction, hostility, and the frustrations that you are experiencing. Perhaps you "have an ax to grind" with someone. Or the dream can be a metaphor that you are ready to "bury the ax" and make amends.
To dream that you are chopping wood with an ax, suggests that you need to divide your problems into smaller, more manageable sizes. Break down your problems into pieces you can handle. Alternatively, it indicates that your strength and power have been cut down to size.
To dream of darkness overtaking you on a journey, augurs ill for any work you may attempt, unless the sun breaks through before the journey ends, then faults will be overcome.
To lose your friend, or child, in the darkness, portends many provocations to wrath. Try to remain under control after dreaming of darkness, for trials in business and love will beset you.
A dark place, such as a cave, in a dream can symbolize negative emotions. In your dream, are you able to find your way out of the dark place?
A dream about being in darkness can also mean that you believe you are being "kept in the dark" about something - that someone else is keeping a secret from you.
If you dream that you are afraid of the dark you could be unwilling to deal with obstacles that you expect to face in the future.
In the Egyptian tongue, the term designating the hand was related to
that for the pillar (or a support, or strength) and for the palm (4). In esoteric
doctrine, the position of the hand in relation to the body, and the arrangement of
the fingers, convey certain precise symbolic notions (48). According to the Egyptian system of hieroglyphs, the hand signifies manifestation, action, donating and
husbandry. An eye in association with a hand—as for example in some oriental
mythic beings—symbolize ‘clairvoyant action’ (19). Schneider concedes a major
rôle to the hand ‘because it is the corporeal manifestation of the inner state of the
human being’ and because ‘it expresses an attitude of mind in terms other than the
acoustic’—or, in other words, a gesture. It follows, then, that the raised hand is
the symbol of the voice and of song; the hand placed on the breast indicates the
attitude of the sage; placed on the neck it denotes sacrifice; two hands joined
signifies mystic marriage—the Jungian individuation; the hand covering the eyes
represents clairvoyance at the moment of death (50). Of great importance is the
fact that the hand has five fingers, firstly, because of its broad analogy with the
human figure (composed of four extremities plus the head), and, secondly, by
reason of the symbolism of the number five (denoting love, health and humanity)
(40). In Egyptian hieroglyphics, the open hand signifies any specificially human
task as well as magnetic force (19)—an idea also characteristic of pre-Columbian
America. And a very similar belief lies behind the widespread use of the hand as
an amulet in Islamic cultures. According to Berber thought, the hand signifies
protection, authority, power and strength; the manus had the same meaning for
the Romans, symbolizing in particular the authority of the pater familias and of
the emperor, and is sometimes to be seen surmounting the signum of the legions
in place of the imperial eagle. In the Islamic amulets mentioned above, the figure
of the hand undergoes various modifications or appears in association with other
symbols, as, for instance, the star, the dove, the bird, the fan, the zigzag and the
circle, forming emblems comparable with those of the Christian West (12). The
familiar emblem of the ‘linked hands’ is expressive of a virile fraternity, or solidarity in the face of danger (49). In Jung’s opinion, the hand is endowed with a generative significance (31). The difference between the right hand and the left is
usually ignored, but when the distinction is made it appears merely to serve the
purpose of enriching the basic significance with the additional implications of
space-symbolism, the right side corresponding to the rational, the conscious, the
logical and the virile; the left side representing the converse (33). There are alchemic images which represent a King clasping in his own left hand the left hand
of the Queen. Jung suggests that this may refer to the unconscious character of
their union but that it may also be indicative either of affection or of suspicion
To dream of your hands, represent your relationships with those around you and how you connect with the world. Hands serve as a form of communication and can represent authority, hate, protection, justice, etc depending on the gesture. Perhaps you need to lend a helping hand to someone. In particular, the left hand symbolizes your graciousness and your feminine, receptive qualities, while the right hand symbolizes the masculine and active attributes. The right hand may also be a pun for some decision or something being "right". If you dream that your hands are detached or see disembodied hands, then it indicates that you are not getting your point of view across. You are not being understood. The dream may also symbolize feelings of loneliness.
To dream that you are holding hands with someone, represents love, affection and your connection with that person. Your dream may also reflect anxieties about losing touch with him/her or that you are drifting apart.
To dream that you hands are injured, denote an attack on your ego.
To dream that your hands are clasped or closed, signify unity, completeness, acceptance or agreement. On a more negative note, it may suggest that you are close-minded, ungiving or unwilling to help.
To dream that you have unusually large hands, denote success in achieving your goals.
To dream that your hands are hairy or rough, imply your lack of gentleness in dealing with others. You may be too brash and abrasive.
To see blood on your hands, signifies that you are experiencing some sort of guilt.
To dream that you are washing your hands, represent a worrisome issue that you need to work through. Alternatively, it suggests that you are in denial or no longer taking responsibility of some matter. You are letting go and getting things out of your system.
To dream that your hands are itchy, indicate issues with money. If the left hand is itchy, then it signifies money being received. If the right hand or both hands are itchy, then it signifies money being given or lost.
If you see beautiful hands in your dream, you will enjoy great distinction, and rise rapidly in your calling; but ugly and malformed hands point to disappointments and poverty. To see blood on them, denotes estrangement and unjust censure from members of your family.
If you have an injured hand, some person will succeed to what you are striving most to obtain.
To see a detached hand, indicates a solitary life, that is, people will fail to understand your views and feelings. To burn your hands, you will overreach the bounds of reason in your struggles for wealth and fame, and lose thereby.
To see your hands covered with hair, denotes that you will not become a solid and leading factor in your circle.
To see your hands enlarged, denotes a quick advancement in your affairs.
To see them smaller, the reverse is predicted.
To see your hands soiled, denotes that you will be envious and unjust to others.
To wash your hands, you will participate in some joyous festivity.
For a woman to admire her own hands, is proof that she will win and hold the sincere regard of the man she prizes above all others.
To admire the hands of others, she will be subjected to the whims of a jealous man. To have a man hold her hands, she will be enticed into illicit engagements. If she lets others kiss her hands, she will have gossips busy with her reputation. To handle fire without burning her hands, she will rise to high rank and commanding positions.
To dream that your hands are tied, denotes that you will be involved in difficulties. In loosening them, you will force others to submit to your dictations.
Dreaming of your hands, represents your relationship to those around you and how you connect with the world. Hands serve as a form of communication. Perhaps you need to lend out a helping hand to someone. In particular, the left hand symbolizes your graciousness and feminine, receptive qualities. And the right hand symbolizes masculine, active attributes. It may also be a pun for some decision or something being "right". Dreaming that you are holding hands with someone, represents your connection with that person. Your dream may also reflect anxieties about losing touch with him/her or that you are drifting apart. Dreaming that you hands are injured indicates an attack on your ego. Dreaming that your hands are clasped or closed means unity, completeness, acceptance or agreement. On a more negative note, it may suggest that you are close-minded, ungiving or unwilling to help. Dreaming that you have unusually large hands indicates much success in achieving your goals. Dreaming that your hands are hairy or rough, implies your lack of gentleness in dealing with others. You may be too brash and abrasive. Seeing blood on your hands means that you are experiencing some sort of guilt. Dreaming that you are washing your hands, represents a worrisome issue that you need to work through. Alternatively, it suggests that you are no longer taking responsibilities in some matter. You are letting go and getting things out of your system.
To dream of your childhood, indicates your wish to return to a life where you had little responsibility and worries. It also represents innocence. Alternatively, it suggests that certain aspects of your childhood has not yet been integrated into your adult personality. On the other hand, some childhood anxiety has yet to be resolved in your adult life.
Dreaming of your childhood indicates your wish to return to a life where you had little responsibility and worries. It also represents innocence. Alternatively, it suggests that certain aspects of your childhood has not yet been integrated into your adult personality. Or on the other hand, some childhood anxiety has yet to be resolved in your adult life.
A return to childhood in our dreams is not uncommon and could merely represent a wish to return to a safe and happy place, free from responsibility. But perhaps the dream is warning us to look to the future instead of remaining trapped by rose-tinted memories of the past. However, if the dream childhood is lonely and despairing, there is a strong indication that we have still to resolve something from that part of our lives.
To see freshly stirred dirt in your dream, symbolizes thriftiness and frugalness. Dirt is also representative of situations where you have been less than honorable and may have acted in a devious manner. You are trying to conceal or bury your questionable behavior.
To dream that someone throws dirt at you, suggests that someone is questioning your character and harming your reputation.
To dream of seeing freshly stirred dirt around flowers or trees, denotes thrift and healthful conditions abound for the dreamer.
To see your clothes soiled with unclean dirt, you will be forced to save yourself from contagious diseases by leaving your home or submitting to the strictures of the law.
To dream that some one throws dirt upon you, denotes that enemies will try to injure your character.
Seeing freshly stirred dirt in your dream, symbolizes thriftiness and frugalness. Dirt is also representative of situations where you have been less than honorable and may have acted in a devious manner. Dreaming that someone throws dirt at you indicates that enemies will try to attack your character and harm your reputation. Dreaming that your clothes are soiled with dirt means of a contagious disease that you have been stricken with.
Dreaming about dirt, as in something dirty, could represent your state of mind or a situation from your daily life. It could symbolise a relationship, a business venture, or any other part of your life where you, or someone else has been less than honest and honourable. Dirt in your dreams could also represent your unwholesome attitudes and a devious state of mind. This dream, depending on its details, may be encouraging you to clean up "your act" inside and out.
To see mysterious figures in your dream, indicates that you are experiencing confusion and ambiguity in some aspect of your life.
To dream of figures, indicates great mental distress and wrong. You will be the loser in a big deal if not careful of your actions and conversation.
Seeing mysterious figures in your dream means great mental distress.
To see the front of something in your dream, indicates that you expressing a desire to keep your distance. The dream may also be a pun on "fronting". Are you being someone that you are not? Are you overly concerned about how you come across to others and how they see you?