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  • Writer's pictureGaelle Bretin-Tokpo

How to Interpret Dreams

People have often asked me, if I knew how to interpret dreams. And just as far as today, I was asked this question again. The answer is yes! Yes, I do know how to interpret dreams. And I have done it myself, countless times.



In order for me to do so, I initially conducted some thorough research over time, gathered pieces from varied places, tested, experimented, mixed it up together with practice (interpreting my own dreams and helping others with theirs), and came up, then, with my own synthetic process. Though, I have to say that my biggest influence on this task was by far Carl Jung’s approach (rather than the Freudian), as well as a process I once read in a blog many years ago which GREATLY inspired me. So once I had my own process, I then wrote it down in my mobile notes app so that I could have it anytime someone needed it.


And so, today, I am sharing it with you. Feel free to share it too with your friends, your relatives and anyone you know who may be desperately trying to interpret a dream. Maybe that’s a dream that you or they have experienced for the first time, or maybe it is a dream that you/they have dreamed over and over and over again, which would be anxiogenic and at least puzzling. In the latter case, it feels like it won’t leave you alone until you finally decrypt its message. And in fact, it won’t.

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So here is my process👇:



First thing, I would like to emphasise, is that only YOU can interpret your dream... Ok, yes, some external help is always good to take if you’re feeling like you need it. That being said, no one but you can actually grasp the meaning hidden behind the symbols and the message conveyed by the story. The reason for that is that it is all specifically designed by yourself FOR yourself. It is talking in a language that is yours: your own personal and singular language.


Second thing, you need to find out if your dream actually has to be interpreted, because oftentimes, dreams are just a way for the mind to organise its memory, process the previous day, tidy up, categorise, reorganise boxes, and plan the following days. So such dreams don’t necessarily need to be interpreted.


To figure out whether you may want to interpret a dream, check out those 4 following elements. If you have at least 2 or 3 of them, then you can consider interpreting your dream:


- You feel, deeply down, that this dream is important, or special, that you really want to interpret it

- You remember it easily. It isn’t quite vanishing or at least the main relevant piece isn’t

- You can't stop thinking about it all day long and it actually bothers you. It’s nagging you and won’t leave you alone

- You dream the same dream (or quite the same) several nights in a row. Or, this dream has been recurrent over the months and years



Of course, if you want to interpret all your dreams as a daily journaling practice and create for yourself this special psyche exploration ritual, you can do too! It won’t, then, be so much about resolving your triggers, communicating with yourself or getting cues on your key life moments, but rather, about building knowledge on how your psyche organises itself, as a long-term thorough work. You may then, figure out on your own in how your dreams differ from each other, get some insights about your daily life and learn how you operate inside.


And so, for this purpose, you may need to write your dreams down during the night (which may not work out for you considering the impact waking up multiple times fully during the night may have on the sleep quality), or alternatively, write them down only in the morning, just after waking up.

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Now, if you decide to interpret your dream, here are the 5 steps I suggest you take:



1) Describe your dream at the present tense, so you can re-immerse yourself in it more fully and connect with its language. Write it down with as many details as possible and include the feelings you felt in the dream (not what you’re feeling now about the dream☝️).


Use the following questions if you need help with this:


- What is the context of the dream? What do you know about yourself, as a character, in the dream? And what about your environment, when the dream starts? E.g. your are a 40yo man who works in a bakery and has 3 children. You aren’t feeling surprised because that’s just who you are and what you do and have in this dream reality.

- When does the dream happen: night, day, makes timeline jumps between past, present and future? E.g. it happens on a specific day; maybe on several. Maybe you are 5 years old and suddenly 20.

- Where does the dream take place? E.g. in your house, outside, overseas, on another planet (btw, your house in a dream usually represents your psyche, your Self).

- From which perspective do you live the dream; are you an external viewer, like if you were watching a movie (third-person perspective), or are you part of the scene as a character? And is this character you (first-person perspective) or is it somebody else (second-person perspective)?

- Very VERY important: what emotions are you feeling in the dream? What surprises you? This is the dream KEY🗝! E.g. If you are not surprised to be a man in the dream although you are a woman in real life, this means this element has no particular meaning. What instead surprises you, does have a particular meaning! It is a symbol and it is key.

- And, of course, what does happen in the dream, what action is taking place? I think you don’t need examples for this one as it is already the first and sometimes the only thing people do when they describe their dream.



2) Summarise your dream now, in 1 short sentence with, this time, NO emotion, no detail, only the simplest action. This step will help you put things into perspective and clarify what actually is happening in the dream.


3) Find out the 2 or 3 main symbols in your dream and figure out what they mean to YOU. E.g. You're eating an apple and you feel that this is an important symbol: what an apple makes you think of? What are the ideas, images, emotions that show up when you think about an apple🍏 ?


4) Find out what problematic your dream is resolving or what question it is answering, because dreams often are messengers whose message resolves an issue or answers a question that has been bothering the person in their life, their daily life, their current life, something that is ongoing, still active, that is triggering their emotions. Research, where in your life, you are feeling or have felt the emotions you are also feeling in the dream. The emotions are usually what makes people click and instantly pull out the issue it matches to. That’s what is also very helpful when you hesitate between two situations.


5) If ever you can’t quite pinpoint the issue your dream is resolving or bringing an answer to, or if you’re having hard time identifying the symbols or their meaning, and that you get even more confused in your interpretation, then pause for a minute, take a break, sleep on it, meditate. Leave your mind processing all you’ve been working on so far, and come back to it when you feel the dust has settled and that your mind has become clearer. So when you’re ready, resume your interpretation; the meaning is bound to show up by itself.



Now, the last thing I think is important to mention, is that dreams may also be premonitory. They are showing you where you’re at, in life, at which frequency you’re vibrating in that moment, and therefore what it is that you’re creating or creating more of, in this time of your life. If you don’t like it, you can then change, in your real life, your thoughts, emotions and behaviour, ultimately your frequency, so that you can manifest something different from the dream, that pleases you more. Dreams are, in the process of manifestation, a reality that comes after the thoughts and emotions, and before the occurrence of synchronicities, which themselves occur before the full manifestation in the physical reality. So don’t necessarily take the premonition as fate. Take it rather as an opportunity to utilise your free-will, as a preview of your most likely future, as a precursor that informs you, in advance, what the current situation is, so that you can do something about it, before it actually occurs in real life. Chances are, by even simply becoming aware of it and its message, you will alter your frequency for the better.


So if you find that your dream isn’t quite fitting with your present or past circumstances, then it may be linked to your future. Therefore, keep your dream in the background of your Consciousness for a potential future match. Watch out for synchronicities. And if, at some point of the future (more likely on the same day or the following) you find yourself in similar circumstances_ and remember, the emotions are very helpful for that matter_ recall your dream in that moment and receive the guidance it is delivering to you.



And, voila! This was how you can interpret your dreams and maybe help others do so for themselves. It may look complicated at first glance, when reading all the steps required, but the process is actually quite easy and immensely intuitive. You just need to be inspired and dedicated to interpreting that particular chosen dream, and to apply the different steps I proposed. It’s not a linear work though, so you don’t have to necessarily apply the steps in the exact order I presented them. Sometimes you may need to go through additional life experiences before you can receive or understand the meaning of the dream. So don’t be too rigid. Give it a little time and flexibility.


Ultimately, when a dream isn’t just some organisational work, it is a message that you are sending from yourself to yourself, more precisely from your subconscious to your conscious mind. The symbols that your subconscious mind uses are something that, your conscious mind specifically, can understand, because they come from your own life experience, your own worldview and your own inner-library. So, dream symbols are highly personal. And so is it, for synchronicities that will show up in your world.


Now, don’t get me wrong, there are dream dictionaries that provide the meaning of a great number of symbols, and these meanings are true, at the level of the collective unconscious, but these will most likely never override your personal and subjective meanings, which are part of your personal unconscious. As I said, a house represents, in the collective unconscious, the psyche (btw, the basement represents the deepest and oldest places of your psyche). This feels to me pretty consistent at the subjective level of personal unconsciouses too. But I cannot rule out a potential difference of meaning in some personal unconsciouses.


Other strong archetypes are the mother and the father. Collectively the mother carries the feminine attributes while the father carries the masculine. Now, if you, personally, have always viewed and felt your mother as very masculine (a woman having a lot of strength, courage, independence, leadership and assertiveness) and on the other hand, your father, as highly feminine (being a very nurturing, caring, passive, subordinating man), then your personal meaning of those two archetypes, may be flipped in your dream. That’s why you need a great deal of discernment, if you choose to use a dream dictionary. If you have that (discernment), then such a resource may be really helpful.



I’m leaving you with this last word (helpful) and I greatly hope that you become fluent at dream interpretation, and that you unleash a whole new territory, full of insights, guidance and understandings, about your life and the higher motives of your Self.


Good luck! 😊☘️









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