Dreams as a Pathway to Your Soul
by Laura Grace
"Dreams show us how to
find meaning in our lives, how to fulfill our own
destiny, how to realize the greater potential of life
within us." Marie-Louise von Franz
Rich with symbols, archetypes and
metaphoric meaning, dreams are an invaluable healing
instrument, and when regularly processed and understood,
can be a pathway to higher consciousness, healed
relationships, fulfilling your life’s purpose and
greater abundance. Dreams are powerful vehicles in which
to solve your daily issues, for they provide ideas,
solutions and insights. Literally, they are jackpots of
information, especially when you ask for answers to
specific concerns. Edgar Cayce taught, "Dreams work
to solve problems of the dreamer’s conscious waking
life, and they work to quicken in the dreamer new
potentials which are his/hers to claim." Such is
the capacity of your nightly dreams.
Dreams can be very helpful in your
life’s journey because they broadly cover the
physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of your life.
Their scope and depth is immense. For example, while
counseling I have heard dreams ranging from common,
everyday "bathroom" scenes where the dreamer
is urinating (representing a releasing or cleansing
taking place), to the dreamer observing a
"phoenix" soaring through the sky (the
mythical bird that transcends the fire and ashes,
depicting transformation, transmutation and spiritual
It’s important to keep in mind that
each of your dreams, however silly or insignificant they
may first appear to be, are abundant with information.
They only await your willingness to learn. Further,
dreams are meant to help you, not scare you.
Being "stories of information," they are
expressed from your higher self through your
subconscious to lovingly guide you. Countless times I’ve
heard people exclaim, "I want to learn from my
dreams, but mine seem so weird or negative that I’m
hesitant to work with them." There was a time in my
life that I felt the same way, but through practice I’ve
become very familiar with the patterns my dreams follow
and I am no longer afraid to look at what they’re
telling me. My dreams have been such a big part of my
growth that I know with absolute conviction they appear
only to help me.
LEARN THE LANGUAGE OF YOUR DREAMS
Dreams are highly personal. What a
symbol may mean to me may have a very different meaning
for you. For example, I have a black Pomeranian dog
named "Guru" whom I dearly love. Whenever Guru
appears in my dreams, I know my dream guide is revealing
to me something that involves the vulnerable, innocent
and childlike aspect of me. Guru has appeared most often
when I’ve been working through past issues and healing
my inner child. However, dogs for you, (even a pet dog)
may mean something entirely different. If you prefer
felines to canines, or have had negative encounters with
dogs, one appearing in your dream may be uncomfortable
for you or even arouse fear. It all depends on the
perception you have about a specific dream symbol. So
beware of using dream books as the key to
unlocking the meaning of your dream. I remember once
counseling a woman who shared a dream in which a cluster
of bugs had burrowed their way inside her leg. As we
talked through her dream we discussed how
"bugs" are also called "insects." By
changing the symbol’s name to "insects" and
paying attention to the feelings she was experiencing,
we were able to see that the dream was not about insects,
but something very different and much deeper—"incest."
This awareness resonated to my client, and like an
intricate puzzle that had never quite come together, all
of the pieces began to fit. This woman had unconsciously
been sensing that she had been molested when she was
very young but had not been able to remember specific
details. In a typical dream book, "insects" or
"bugs" represent "small annoyances and
irritations." Certainly something was
"bugging" this woman, but in this case, it was
anything but "small." A long and honest
discussion regarding what her dream was telling her—coupled
with several previous dreams—was necessary for her to
recognize the core issue. With her newfound
understanding, she was able to direct her energies
toward healing the sexual abuse and begin the long yet
rewarding journey of recovery.
Using your dreams as a pathway
to your soul is a process. In order to learn from them
and utilize them as your own private psychotherapist
(and why not?—they can save you a lot of money!), you
must be willing to be patient and get to know them as
you would a beloved child or pet. Dream analysis is a
feminine practice in that it requires quiet time,
nurturing and the willingness to delve more deeply into
your soul. In the book Season of Changes, Ways of
Response, it states, "The greatest book of
study is that of your own, written by the soul upon time
and space—that of your dreams."
Two key questions to keep in mind
while working with a dream are:
- What am I currently dealing with, or being affected
by, that my dream may be trying to show me? (Dreams tend to reflect your life
and its current situation. Thus the thoughts and
feelings you had the previous day is key.)
- What do I need to know from my dreams so I can take
the next step in my personal and spiritual growth?
(Dreams occur to help you in every
area of your life, even those areas that you have built
a defense around and do not want to see. Examples
addiction, self-destructive behaviors, unresolved
relationship and childhood issues, unfulfilling career,
In her book Cloud Nine, author Sandra Thompson
states the following dream themes are the most common:
- Taking an Exam
- Missing a plane, train, or other vehicle
- Sexual Experiences
- Pursuit Dreams (being pursued by someone or
- Finding Money
- Nude in Public
- Teeth Falling Out/Damaged Teeth
- Dream Characters Changing into Someone or Something
In my work I find that many people
want to understand and utilize their dreams but have a
hard time remembering them. Willingness is the
key to dream recall. Sometimes we’re tempted to think
that we didn’t dream, yet each of us has an average of
four to five dreams per night (depending upon what we’ve
ingested prior to falling asleep; alcohol, drugs and
heavy eating will impair our dreams). Some steps you can
take for using your dreams as tools for healing include:
- Set your intention to remember your dreams before
- Keep a notebook near your bed (or a tape recorder).
- Ask your Higher Self for guidance in remembering and
learning from your dreams.
- Allow any issues you are working on, or answers you
are seeking, to come into your awareness as you fall asleep. Form a
question and keep asking it, over and over, as you fall
asleep. When asking for a solution to a problem, keep
the question simple—one at a time works best. Assume
you will receive the answer in that night’s dream(s).
- Immediately upon awaking, keep your attention
focused on any dreams you have had during the night, and/or on the most
recent dream. Again, assume the answer was given. Do not
allow your mind to drift forward toward the day’s
events! This will inhibit your ability to remember your
- Record your dreams as soon as possible, even if it’s
during the night. Avoid turning on any bright lights or
anything that makes noise. Record even bits and pieces
of your dream. Often, "wisps" become catalysts
for remembering the rest of it later in the day.
- Focus on dream symbols and feelings while
recording your dream.
- Make a commitment to remembering your dreams and
learning your own "dream language" for several months. As
you do so, your dreams will become easier to remember
UNDERSTANDING YOUR DREAMS
Focus on feelings first, then dream symbols.
Do not judge your dreams—all dreams are
significant and have much to tell you. Not meaning to
frighten you, your dreams are lovingly channeled through
your subconscious to help you learn, grow and heal.
Dreams occur in patterns and "themes."
Look for the dream theme while recording your dream.
Notice the dream characters: ask yourself,
"What aspect of me does this person represent?
(Keep in mind that most people in your dreams are
different sides of you).
Dreams of someone who has passed away means: 1) they
are trying to communicate to you through your dream
state, 2) they represent an aspect of you that has
"died," 3) they are representing something to
you from your past (while they were still alive) that is
in need of healing.
Dreams that have repeating dream symbols or themes
are VERY IMPORTANT! Pay particular attention to your
feelings during repetitive dream themes and symbols.
Dreams occur in sequence during the night and
"build" upon each other. What was the dream
The first scene of a dream often sets the
"stage" for the entire dream. What is the
first scene like? Who is in it? Where are you? What are
The last scene of the dream shows "where"
and "how" the energy of the dream (and your
life) is turning, i.e., where things are
"going." What happens in the last scene and
how are you feeling?
Look for any literal interpretations of dream
symbols. Pay particular attention to your physical body
in a dream as it could be warning you of an illness.
Cars typically represent our bodies.
Again, your dreams are meant to help you, not
frighten you. Any fear that surfaces is something you
may be afraid to look at in your waking life. Nightmares
occur when we continue to avoid looking at our fears or
Dreams will tell you the TRUTH about a particular
situation in your life, even if you’ve built a defense
structure against it. If there is conflict occurring
between your conscious and subconscious mind, your
subconscious will always win out.
Because of their honesty, dreams are
both powerful and healing. They are a priceless means
for connecting with our soul. Through dream work, we are
able to cultivate a deep and soulful relationship with
our true self and unite authentically with others. Sweet
SOME RECOMMENDED DREAM RESOURCES
Marc Ian Barasch, Healing
Dreams: Exploring the Dreams that Can Transform Your
Marion Woodman, DREAMS:
Language of the Soul
Jo Jean Boushahla, Virginia
Dictionary, 1000 Dream Symbols from A-Z
Wilda Tanner, The
Mystical Magical Marvelous World of Dreams
Edgar Cayce, Dreams and Dreaming (documented
case histories on dreams interpreted through the altered
state of consciousness)
Carl G. Jung, Man and His Symbols and
Memories, Dreams and
Sandra Thomson, Cloud
Nine, A Dreamer’s Dictionary
Gayle Delaney, Living
Mark Thurston, How
to Interpret Your Dreams
© Copyright 2001 Laura Grace. All Rights Reserved.
Laura Grace is Co-founder of Infinite Wisdom, an organization dedicated to the highest human capacity, and a national author and speaker. As a regular contributor for publications across the US and Canada, Laura writes about human awareness and spiritual growth. Laura is the author of the widely acclaimed book Gifts of the Soul and is the creator and teacher of various programs, including the transforming and popular Self-Mastery Program, Claim Your Inner Power!, The Art of Compassionate Forgiveness, Wonderful Women: Reclaiming Our Power, Passion and Purpose!, Creating Soul in Relationships, Living the Intimate Life and several others. Please visit Laura's web site at:
From performing dream analysis for more than 20 years, Laura is an experienced dream counselor and
is currently available for dream analysis. She provides assistance in three ways: 1)
In-person, 2) By phone, 3) and via e-mail. You may contact her by calling