Dream Imagery: Symbolism & Impressions


March 19, 2016 post

Please excuse the tardiness of this post & no images, my computer has ‘de-friended me.’ 

Dream imagery in its simplest form, reflects the content of the dreamer’s experiences, beliefs, and even their ancestry. Our night dreams are only one aspect of dreaming (as I have learned it). Our brain’s never stop emitting nerve impulses that essentially impact “our whole dream,” or both waking and sleeping life. Life after all, is a reflection of symbols and impressions dialoguing with our body and moving through our senses. This happens both in our awake world and in our dreamtime worlds.

The goal of both the waking state and the state of the dreamtime, is actually encompassed within the “act of dreaming.” For many people it makes them more comfortable if their sleeping world doesn’t intrude into the waking world, so they pay little attention to their dreams. Why? Often because the outer world is bound by rules and we can convince ourselves that “this is reality.” In our sleeping world, the impressions and imagery might be labeled fantasy, confusing, seemingly have nothing to do with our waking experiences, but in reality their effects actually have a discharge that impacts our outer world and as such our physical state.

A Tsalagi (Cherokee) herbal teacher I once had, instructed that in his tradition, if someone was bitten by a snake in their dreamtime, they would be treated for a snake bite in their waking time. It was less about the snake bite, and more about how our dreaming experiences need to be propelled into our waking state. The bridge between these two worlds becomes the reactive expression through the barometer of the physical body, and our body’s sensory experiences.

Symbols have to do with something visible that often represents something invisible, and is informed, or agreed to by people because of convention, personal, or ancestral beliefs. Impressions are more a feeling, supposition, or notion. Both illicit emotions. The emotion or sensation of the dream is very important toward  bringing us insights to energize and re-inform. The lesson is to use the emotion, not to emote necessarily, but to transmute those qualities that restrict us because of the emotion, and move us to a greater perception of the Self.

Dreams will become persistent, sometimes nightmarish, or tell the same story from multiple directions to help us in clear “seeing.” It is clear seeing that moves us past our limiting beliefs and repetitive behaviors, and returns us to the sacred.  Sacred is how we use our intent to manage the energy we have, and eventually detach from all forms both verbal and imaginal, though counter-intuitively they are two descriptors that get us there.

One gift of the dream world is to help re-educate us. While communicating from our inner world, the dream self provides a reversal from focusing on the outer world. If we only look, learn, and listen to our outer, we forget how to ‘see and act’ in the dark. It is in the dark, in the dream, that we turn inward to touch the light of the sacred.

When we understand that perceiving our world is how we actually create it, then listening to our dreams will become one way to free ourselves from outer patterns that imprison and obscure the greater reality available to us beyond these corporeal bodies.

As a challenge see if you can record just the emotion you feel upon waking over the next three days. Don’t expand as to why you think you feel that way, just try and use one word or one sentence. Be succinct. Once you start building the reasons as to “why” you think you feel the way you do, you run the risk of only using one hemisphere of your brain, one concretized form of understanding, and missing a deeper or more hidden connection. See how it lingers within you, comes up at unexplained times, or expands in certain situations throughout your day. Then ask that emotion to inform you with a larger dream sequence on night four. Both the dream content and the emotion can now become your ally….What new information does it connect to below the surface of your outer knowing?








One thought on “Dream Imagery: Symbolism & Impressions

  1. Thank you, Sandy. I will try and write one word or sentence when awake. It will be interesting. May times I’m propelled from a dream state when my alarm wakes me in the morning.


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