The wolf often symbolizes the shadow of male sexuality. Be glad to have had such a strong dream. You are powerful; you do not need to kill the wolf, hut you can dance with him.
In Steppenwolfy by Herman Hesse, the wolf becomes a symbol for the lonely seeker (and sufferer). Here it is not so much a reference to the meanness of the wolf, but rather the lonely search for the meaning of life.
In Christianity, the wolf is compared to the false prophet and heretic.
According to Jung, the wolf is wilder than the Lion and the Dog. Between 1910 and 1914, Sigmund Freud treated a patient who later would become famous as the “Wolfman.” As a small child this patient suffered from terrifying dreams about wolves, which was the reason why Freud gave him this name.
The earliest memories this man had about his nightmares involved six or seven White wolves that were sitting in a hazelnut tree in front of his window, and he was sure they had come to devour him. Freud here makes reference to two fairy tales: “Little Red Riding Hood” and “The Wolf and the Seven Little Goats.” In addition, Freud sees the wolf as a father substitute. As a young boy, the patient had observed his parents having intercourse from behind, and according to Freud, the patient transferred his repressed desire for sexual gratification by his father to a fear of wolves.
The female wolf symbolizes the nurturing power of nature, like Romulus and Remus, who were both nursed by a wolf. This is also the essence of the fairy tale “Little Red Riding Hood,” where the wolf is not only devouring Grandmother but he is Grandmother—the great mother symbol of wild nature.... Little Giant Encyclopedia
1- Weeds are generally plants which grow on waste ground and their symbolism in dreams reflects this. Thev mav indicate misplaced trust, misplaced energy or even misplaced attempts at success. They do not contribute a tremendous amount to our lives and if allowed to run riot or to overgrow can stop our own positive growth.
To be digging up weeds would show that we are aware that by freeing our life of the nonessential we are creating space for new growth and new abilities.
2- Mental attitudes which clog us up and do not allow us to move forward and old patterns of behaviour can very often be shown in dreams as weeds. We may need to decide which of these weeds are helpful to us (that is which could be composted, transferred into something else and made use of to help positive growth) or which need to be thrown awav. Often plants growing wild have healing properties. By using these properties we can enhance our lives, for instance, dandelion tea is a natural diuretic, and dreams can often tell us what we need.
3- Weeds, by courtesy of their irritating qualities and refusal to be quickly eradicated, symbolise spiritual difficulties.... Ten Thousand Dream Dictionary
When anxiety features in a dream it may be just that - straightforward anxiety. On the other hand, it may be a disguise for some repressed aggression or resentment.
Ixt us say you dream of the death of a loved one, and you wake up in a sweat and frantic with concern about that person (partner, parent or whatever). It may be that the anxiety you felt in the dream and / or on waking from the dream is what Freud called a defence mechanism - that is, a ruse we adopt for protecting ourselves against unbearable, unacceptable feelings. The first time we experience a strong negative feeling against someone near to us, we tend to ‘put it out of mind’. In realitv, however, what happens to such banished feelings is not that
they disappear; rather, they remain with us, in the unconscious part of our psyche. Rejection of feelings because they are morally repugnant or terrifying in their possible consequences is what Freud called ‘repression’ or ‘suppression’. (Remember: suppression is a conscious act, repression an unconscious act.) What causes us to suppress or repress a feeling of hatred or jealousy or resentment, or a desire to kill or hurt or perform some other socially proscribed act, is anxiety - anxiety about the consequences. Therefore, whenever anxiety reappears in our dreams we need to look for possible repressed feelings or desires that brought the anxiety about in the first place.
‘A dream is a (disguised) fulfilment of a (suppressed or repressed) wish,’ said Freud in his epoch-making book The Interpretation of Dreams; and this, he went on, applied even - no, especially - to so-called anxiety dreams. Freud is wrong, of course, in over-generalizing: many anxiety dreams are quite straightforward undisguised expressions of fears for someone or about some situation. However, do not assume that Freud is wrong with regard to any particular dream before you have honestly examined both your dream and yourself with a view to finding (which may mean recollecting) a negative desire that might be lurking behind the dream’s cloak of anxiety.
One of the categories of dreams that Freud classified as ‘typical’ is the death of a person of whom the dreamer is fond. vSuch dreams, said Freud, always represent the dreamer’s wish that the person should die. Between brothers and sisters there is often jealousy, and wicked wishes arising in childhood may be harboured in the unconscious for a very long time - for as long as we care to leave them there. The same applies to the jealousy and hatred a young child may feel towards a parent.
It may be that your dream of a loved one dying is prompted by a recent worry about the loved one. But dreams whose contents are determined by recent experiences may express feelings that have a long history in your life. Indeed, it could be that, if the loved one in the dream is your partner, any jealousy or hatred you may be feeling towards him or her mav be the jealousy or hatred you felt as a child towards your parent of the opposite sex, now transferred to your partner. Repressed hostile feelings have a way of repeating themselves in one situation alter another, with one person after another.... A Dictionary of Dream Symbols
Symbol associated with the ideas of revenge and death, but also sacrifice. The blade’s sharpness points to the primary character of the person who is holding the knife. Similarly, the length of the blade shows the spiritual stature of its possessor.
If you use it against something or someone you should inquire within yourself what makes you too worried or upset that you resort to violence. Knives are also considered masculine sexual symbols. (See DAGGER).
It is said that dreaming of a kitchen knife reports good luck. Any other type of knife warns against possible dangers ahead.
analysis of a dream
Veronica dreamed: “I was walking quietly down the street, confident and calm, when suddenly a mugger appeared in front of me with a knife in his hand. He told me to give him my bag if I didn’t want him to use the weapon. I reacted immediately grabbing his hand, but his fingers became sharp knives. Although I was very scared, I grabbed his other hand and shouted: ‘No!’ The robber disappeared.”
‘No!’ The robber disappeared.”
When Veronica had this dream she was going through a difficult time at work; they had just transferred her to another department. She felt insecure and thought she would not be able to perform her new role. In addition, her new boss did not seem very happy with her. The knife, or any sharp tool, indicates a possible conflict related to our self-worth. The dream was warning Veronica of the difficulties she would have to face to defend her territory. However, her attitude in the dream was telling her that she had the ability and strength to overcome it. Far from giving in, Veronica worked hard to earn everyone’s trust. Months later, her boss recognized her worth with a promotion.... The Big Dictionary of Dreams
Teeth falling out, a house being burnt, a winter storm, a foreign country, your sister, a child, a stranger, a painting, a werewolf, a church and a ballet are some of the limitless number of images or symbols you can find in dreams. Most dream symbols are not to be taken literally, but rather metaphorically. A metaphor is where the meaning of one thing is transferred to another thing—a ‘happy ship’, for example, might mean a good-humored family or workforce. In most cases, to fully understand the message in the dream you should interpret your dream symbols as metaphorical rather than literal references to your thoughts and feelings. For instance, a burning house might contain references both to yourself (the house) and to your passion, anger, desire or bodily fever (the fire).
Symbols and pictures predate language. They point to the emotions and instincts, many of which are hidden or repressed; these are stored in the unconscious mind, where they reside until some stimulus brings them to consciousness. Jung tells us that dreams speak in the language of symbols and these symbols can have more than one meaning. This has to do with the personal and collective unconscious. The former refers to the dreamer’s ego life, where those things that have been repressed or rejected from consciousness reside. The collective unconscious, which is rich in symbol and metaphor, is older than the individual and indeed older than consciousness itself. It consists of ‘the whole spiritual heritage’ of mankind’s evolution born anew in the brain structure of every individual. The representation of a symbol in the personal unconscious points to the anxieties of everyday life, whereas the collective unconscious addresses the deeper sense of who we are. This is the true self that is often disguised in the ego-life, a spiritual and creative being that inhabits our psyche. Jung tells us we cannot be fully whole until we recognize these ‘collective’ aspects and make them a part of our everyday lives.
Dream dictionaries fill shelves in bookstores and each one will tell you what the symbols in your dreams say about you. The trouble is that most of them contradict each other; in many instances they can also contradict you. The language of dreams is above all personal and symbols cannot have fixed meanings. However, this does not mean that a dream encyclopedia such as the one you are reading now has no useful role to play; quite the contrary.
If used correctly, it can be incredibly helpful. It can spark your imagination and can give you inspiration to help you to interpret your dream.
Although there is often confusion and difficulty surrounding symbols, not helped by the fact that many sources of information come from ancient texts, distant cultures and far-off periods of history, kernels of truth often reside in what might be called a clichéd reading of any particular symbol; this is because we all share common needs and therefore share common experiences giving rise to common dream symbols. Bear in mind, however, that one interpretation can never have a universal application and the specific meaning will differ from person to person. As stressed throughout this encyclopedia, the only way to get a satisfactory interpretation for your dream symbols is to consider your personal associations in conjunction with the universal symbolic meanings. See also ARCHETYPES; COLORS; SHAPES. ... The Element Encyclopedia
The technique of “lucid dreaming”
Broadly speaking, this type of dream permits the dreamer to consciously participate. That is, realize suddenly that they are dreaming and that they can use the elements of the oneiric scene to their advantage or whim. In this aspect, lucid dreams have a greater potential for creativity; it is the ideal occasion to invent, conceive, and formulate without any type of limit or restriction. The main course of these dreams are the curative properties they offer. The life of any individual can be improved by sleeping, since making direct contact with unconscious material makes it easier to discover oneself and progress interiorly.
But what is a lucid dream? You may have experienced it before. You are sleeping and your mind enters into a dream in which a stranger, for example, yells at you to go home. The inverosimile of the situation makes you suddenly say to yourself: “This is a dream.”
Lucid dreams are very stimulating, above all because they allow the dreamer to control their reactions within the oneiric episode, even if it is a nightmare.
Experts define this phenomenon as “prelucid oneiric activity.” But this situation can manifest in a much more evident form. In this case, you not only know you are dreaming, but you can also use your conscious to change the dream as you wish. In the example given, you could ask the stranger who he is, or why he is throwing you out of your own house.
It must be said, however, that oneiric lucidity is not common, even though surveys have reported that 70 percent of people claim to have had this type of dream at some point. It is possible that many are confusing lucid images with prelucid ones, in which they only had the vague sensation of dreaming.
Keeping the conscious awake for a long time as you navigate your oneiric oceans is complicated. When one has lucid dreams, normally you either wake up shortly after, or quickly fall back into an unconscious state. Lucidity is only intermittent. And once you’ve had a dream of this type, it could be years before you experience another one. This exceptional character is why many people consider lucid dreams to be the most stimulating, above all because they allow the dreamer to control their reactions within the oneiric episode, even if it is a nightmare.
Unfortunately, not much is yet known about this type of oneiric process, although it is believed to occur more frequently in the early morning hours, since this time period makes it easier for the individual to realize that the mind is conceiving something improbable or outright impossible (for example, seeing yourself lift an airplane with one hand).
Are lucid dreams beneficial? Of course, since the individual who experiences them, upon realizing their mind is conscious, has the satisfaction of the sensation of freedom increasing as their self-control does. In this sense, some experts go beyond and claim that when one has learned to control oneiric events, it is much easier to solve daily problems and face anxiety. Lucid dreams, therefore, can contribute to our spiritual growth.
In another way, their potential can help us to treat the most terrifying nightmares. Lucidity allows you to face the threatening images in order to understand them, not obliterate them. According to some psychologists, such as the reputable American analyst Gayle Delaney, the best way to deal with a nightmare is not to turn it into a pleasant dream. Quite the contrary, those who dream lucidly have a better option: directly ask the oneiric characters that so terrorizes them what it is they want, or what they represent.
This experience can not only help transform the evil figures into friendly characters, but also allows one to discern what parts of the dreamer’s personality are represented by the original threatening images. With proper training, the individual will report feeling more secure and confident upon waking.
How it all began
The term “lucid dream” was coined by Frederik Van Eeden in 1898, using the word “lucid” in the sense of “mental clarity.” So we can say that a lucid dream is one in which “the dreamer becomes conscious that they are dreaming.” This definition, given by the researcher Celia Green in 1968, is the most widely accepted today. In any case, the
study of this type of dream has been ongoing since Ancient Greece. In the fourth century BC, Aristotle makes the first written reference to a lucid dream in his Treatise on Dreams: “When one is sleeping, there is something in the conscious that reveals that what is present is nothing more than a dream.”
In 415 AD, Saint Augustine used the story of a lucid dream to justify life after death. Later on, in the seventh century, Tibetan Buddhism studies the yoga of dreams, in which the monks train themselves in lucid dreaming as part of their spiritual development. Despite these precedents, the study of lucid dreams, as we understand them today, does not emerge until the nineteenth century, by the hand of Marquis d’Hervey Saint Denys. This researcher published the book Los suenos y como controlarlos (Dreams and how to control them), in 1867. In this, he demonstrated that it is possible to learn to dream consciously. This fact converted him into the founder of the first line of study on lucid dreams, although his discoveries were put into doubt by many researchers afterward.
In lucid dreams we are conscious that we are dreaming.
The sensation that time has passed, in a normal dream, is due to the sudden change of setting. In a lucid dream, however, the critical sense of the dreamer makes them question passing of time they did not live. Much more systematic and objective than Saint Denys, was the English psychologist Mary-Arnold Forster (1861–1951). In her book, Studies in Dreams (1921), she describes techniques of lucidity and control over dreams she herself experienced. The researcher was especially interested in “learning to fly” in lucid dreams, a practice which she had done since childhood.
Another very important aspect of her work was her nightmare therapy. She learned to recognize that her terrifying dreams were “just dreams.” So she helped many children overcome their nightmares through lucid dreaming, teaching them techniques to change an unpleasant dream to a pleasant one. The fact that she criticized many Freudian theories, especially those about pretending and censorship, relegated her brilliance to obscurity. It wasn’t until many years later that the true value of her discoveries was recognized.
Meditation is a good resource to stimulate lucidity in dreams.
Through the techniques of lucid dreaming, we can overcome nightmares by transforming them into pleasant and agreeable dreams.
The lucid dream, today
Modern research on lucidity has advanced a lot in the last fifty years and has come to dismiss old theories. Traditionally, it was thought that dreams happen in a moment, although long stories occurred within them. However, after studying in a lab the subjective experience of the dreamer, in all cases the estimated time of the lucid dream was very close to the real time (LaBerge, 1980–1985). The sensation that more time has passed is due to the sudden changes of scenery during dreams. In 1982, a study by psychologist Stephen LaBerge and William Dement demonstrated that, in the lucid dream, respiration was controlled voluntarily. They confirmed it with three lucid dreamers, who could breathe rapidly or hold their breath during the experiment without suffering any alteration of the dream.
On the other side, one of the most common themes of lucid dreams is sexual activity. LaBerge, Greenleaf, and Kedzierski (1983) completed a pilot experiment on the physiological response in lucid dreams of a sexual nature. The experimental protocol required the lucid dreamer to make ocular signals at the following moments: when he entered lucidity, when the sexual activity of the dream began, and when he experienced orgasm. The investigators discovered that the body reacts the same sexually during a lucid dream as it does while awake.
The situations, characters, or objects that are present in dreams but impossible in real life are precisely those that awaken the dreamer’s critical sense and brings them to lucidity. “The Meaning of Life,” Hipgnosis.
Meditation is also a good resource to stimulate lucidity in dreams. Before going to bed, find a quiet place and sit in a straight chair or on the floor with your legs crossed. Close your eyelids until only a faint fringe of light enters your eyes, or close them entirely if it won’t make you sleepy. Then, try to relax for five minutes (as you practice, you can lengthen the sessions). Concentrate in a single stimulus, focusing your attention on a specific spot. When you finish the exercise, go directly to bed, trying not to lose the relaxation you attained. Meditation will help you concentrate as you sleep, allowing you to recognize the incongruencies in your oneiric thoughts. This is the starting point of lucid dreaming.
Another method for inducing this type of dreams consists of proposing to complete some sort of assignment while you sleep. When dreaming, you will try to finish this job, something that will remind you that the activity you are doing (if you do in fact dream about what you proposed to) is nothing more than a dream.
A variation of this technique (also implies taking on a task) consists of leaving a glass of water in the bathroom and eating something very salty before going to bed. If you follow this method, you are likely to be thirsty but, given that your body is reluctant to get up and go to the bathroom, the displacement will end up incorporated in your dream. The coincidence will make you realize you are dreaming.
When in daily life, if a person, feeling, or thought appears repetitively, there is a greater chance you will dream of it. The content of dreams is always influenced by the content of your day. The more often you do a certain task, the more likely it is to appear in dreams. Therefore, if you ask yourself “am I dreaming?” frequently, you will end up asking this question in dreams. The problem comes when the sensation of reality in dreams is so strong that it tricks you. It is necessary to repeat the reality test we show later on.
Dr. Consuelo Barea notes that there are two primary techniques to induce lucid dreaming at night. It has to do with self suggestion and direct entry into dreams without losing consciousness, which comes from Tibetan yoga.
The number of times that stimuli repeat in a dream has a great impact on the content. However, the same happens with the quality of these stimuli. An event that impresses you, that hits you hard, that causes a big impact, is much more susceptible to appearing in your dreams, even if it only happened once. The way in which people talk to you or in which you receive information can be very suggestive and enter directly into your unconscious.
The prospective memory is a variation of this ability. It consists of giving yourself an order, forgetting it, and then completing it when the opportune moment arrives. We see an example of this memory in people who are able to wake up without an alarm at the hour they want. When the order of oneiric lucidity is given intensely and with force, it can directly reach the unconscious. Some people are able to have a lucid dream just by hearing about it for the first time; this seems interesting, but it’s more useful to educate one’s prospective memory, so that one knows how to give the order effectively.
The process of training in lucid dreaming requires a gradual increase in oneiric experience. It is possible to advance suddenly to a much higher level of lucidity and control but, if this happens by chance, without having worked for it, you will not be able to maintain this achievement. Advances remain fixed when you work for lucidity, persisting with the techniques for induction. Then, the accomplishments are incorporated with your normal oneiric repertoire. In this way, you can reach a point where, in non-lucid dreams, you still act spontaneously, following the lessons learned from lucidity. For example, if you train yourself in lucid dreams to confront an oneiric character that terrorizes you, you will end up responding bravely to this person automatically, even if you are not having a lucid dream.
When in daily life, if a person, feeling, or thought appears repetitively, there is a greater chance we will dream of it; this happens because the content of dreams is very influenced by the content of our waking day. “El voyeur” (The voyeur) (Carles Baró, 1996).
This practice will give you the keys to discover all that worries you in waking life and ends up represented in worry dreams and nightmares. Upon practicing with oneiric lucidity, you will learn to reap maximum benefit from this source of inspiration and creativity.
In the box we show the steps to follow to train yourself in lucid dreaming. The information comes from the studies of Dr. Consuelo Barea that appear in her book El Sueño Lúcido, (The Lucid Dream), published by this same editorial.
Practicing lucidity gives us the keys to discovering everything that worries us and stalks us in nightmares.1. Development of induction techniques. Practice some of the techniques described earlier with the intention of having a lucid dream (for example, self-suggestion). You can practice it during the day, before going to sleep at night, or in the morning before a morning nap.
2. Gradually increase the level of oneiric astonishment.
The objective is to reach Level 3 through practice of the prior techniques.
3. Reality test. Once you’ve reached at least Level 1, you must get used to practicing the reality test in a dream. This can be visual, of laws of physics, or temporal. To do so, question for a moment the reality or coherence of that which you are seeing or what is happening, according to your notion of time and space. If you find something strange in the evaluation of one of these factors, it will set off an alarm for you.
4. Prolongation of lucidity. Once you’ve reached lucidity, you must extend the time as much as possible to better obtain more information. The way to do this is by internal dialogue with the people in the oneiric scene, and with the thoughts you have during the dream.
5. Control. When you’ve achieved lucidity for a while and it seems like it will continue, you can begin to practice control:
The Kabbalists associate dreams with the central symbol of their tradition: the Tree of Life. “Tree of Life” (Gustav Klimt, 1909).... The Big Dictionary of Dreams