Dream Dictionaries: Why You Should NEVER Use One

Dream Dictionary

What is a Dream Dictionary Anyways?

A dream dictionary includes interpretations of dreams, giving each symbol in a dream a specific meaning.

Why You Should Never Use Dream Dictionaries

We are all human and while it seems reasonable that we would have associations in common, in the language of dream analysis, there is nothing so valuable and revealing than to interview the dreamer.

Our sophisticated unconscious is a vast reservoir, holding in it every single memory and association you’ve had since you were born. Younger people might refer to it as an incredible database, while those, like myself, who are over 50, prefer a filing cabinet. The reason I prefer saying a filing cabinet is because when you want to say something to yourself in the interior conversation that is the dream, it’s as if a filing cabinet opens and all the images and feelings you have collected that perfectly fit what you want to say to yourself, are right there for the choosing.

Because the images are directly associated with your memories, they are as unique as your fingerprint and simply cannot be looked up in a book. Here’s a great example. Name 3 or 4 things that come to mind when you think about a horse.

You Are Unique So Are Your Dreams’ Symbols

I looked horse up in a popular on-line dictionary and here’s what it says. “a horse in your dream symbolizes strength, power, endurance, virility, and sexual prowess. It also represents a strong, physical energy. You need to tame the wild forces within. The dream may also be a pun that you are “horsing around”. Alternatively, to see a horse in your dream indicates that you need to be less arrogant and “get off your high horse”. If the horse has two heads (one on each end), then it implies that you are being pulled into two different directions. Perhaps your strength or power is being divided. Or you are confused about some sexual matter.”

Does that fit with your responses? It surely has zero connection to mine! For me, seeing a horse in my dream will have me looking for a recent situation in my waking-life that has me feeling unsure about my footing. I’m not feeling settled; upright! Further, I will try to connect where or in what situation I’m not feeling in control.

That’s because when I was ten years old, my saddle wasn’t secured properly, and once we started cantering, to my surprise
I started slowly slipping while still seated in my saddle and I continued that slip until I was literally on a 90-degree angle!

Now that you know about my personal associations to a horse, you will probably understand that leading up to a recent audition I had, I was dreaming about horses! … Not sure of myself and I definitely did not feel quite “on top of” my situation. My point is, it was not something I could look up in a dictionary and know the meaning it represented.

Another very cool aspect of our personal dictionary, which you will also never find in a dream dictionary, is how our images, memories, and associations are “coupled” inside a file. In fact, our associations are not only coupled together in a file they are also interchangeable! Here’s a terrific example of how this application of interchangeable associations works when you see it happen in a dream.

Horse symbol meaning in dream dictionaries

Sarah’s Dream

In Sara’s personal associations to “Men who belong to me” or “Men who I feel possessive of”, you will find the following list:

  • any guy I’m dating
  • my brother
  • my dad
  • my bff cousin
  • my dearest high school friend Ben

Before I share Sarah’s dream, keep in mind her private and unique list of associations. First, here is the waking situation that triggered the dream. Sarah had introduced her favorite male cousin to her roommate and the two became instant friends. The weekend of the dream, she had invited her roommate to join them on a weekend trip, and at one point, the two of them were sitting in the front seat while Sarah was in the back seat, watching. This scene left Sarah feeling left out and betrayed, although she hid her feelings immediately, not only from her cousin and her friend, but most importantly, from herself!

In her dream Sarah invited over a guy she was dating and walked out of the bathroom only to find her roommate was hooking up with him! Her dream left Sarah feeling left out and betrayed. Her “witnessing” the cheat in the dream, mirrored how Sarah was “watching” them from the back seat, and in the process accomplished getting her in touch with the feelings she experienced but hadn’t express during the daytime event.

Sarah’s dream was not about being “cheated on” but by using that particular scenario it captured her feelings and encouraged to express herself.


I hope these examples have explained for you why dream analysis is nothing about looking something up in a book. In fact, because we humans are natural avoiders—welcome to the human race— reaching for a dream dictionary just turns into another way to avoid when the whole point in the first place is to LOOK IN! What are your personal associations to the images?

The answer to that question will have your dream analyzed, faster than any dictionary. I promise.

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