Popular Themes

What are the most popular themes in dreams, and what do they mean?

Stressful dreams about work…

Stressful dreams about workDream: I’ve been having these stressful dreams about work. At my work, there are lights connected to electronic eyes that only turn on when there’s movement. In these dreams, for some reason the electronic eyes aren’t working and I can’t get the lights to come on. I’m stressed that the lights won’t come on, but I can’t stop to try to figure it out, because I have to handle customers, who are trying to shop (and steal) in the dark. I keep thinking that of course they’re going to steal if it’s dark and no one can see them. That’s where the dream always ends.

DreamsMaster: Dreams that throw obstacles in our way (such as lights that won’t turn on) often represent our ambivalence about achieving certain goals or continuing along a certain path in life. Since this recurring dream takes place at work, this is likely the area of your life where you may be experiencing mixed feelings.

The general theme of the recurring dream has to do with responsibility and ethics. You’re responsible for the darkness both literally and metaphorically – “of course they’re going to steal if it’s dark and no one can see them.” Symbolically, the external darkness in the dream could be an extension of some perceived internal darkness you see (or try not to see) in yourself.

Have you been feeling a sense of resentment at work, perhaps due to too much responsibility with too little reward? There’s a saying, sometimes we steal from others when we feel ripped off ourselves. Consider that maybe you need to “get the lights to come on” or gain clarity in your own life in order to feel a greater sense of control and satisfaction.



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Warning from a dead friend…

Warning from a dead friendDream: In my dream I got a warning from a dead friend telling me to tell my brother to be careful. What does this mean?

DreamsMaster: Dreams have many layers of meaning, and I don’t rule out the possibility of spirits communicating to us through our dreams. Regardless if this message came directly from your dead friend or if this friend in the dream is symbolic, it’s quite possible that you intuitively sense your brother is in some type of risky situation, and the dream is sending you a message to take action to protect him.

On a symbolic level, your deceased friend could be a shadow figure, a part of you that may be somewhat hidden from yourself and that you’ve projected onto this friend. For example, in your waking world you may be reluctant to confront others, but this friend or shadow represents a side of you that has the courage and assertiveness to speak your mind. Think about how you would describe this friend, what personality traits you would ascribe to him or her. Then, consider how you identify with those traits personally, and this may help you understand why this particular friend has appeared in the dream. Warning your brother on behalf of this person could be a way of drawing courage of your own to approach him about a situation you perceive to be risky or threatening.

Your brother in the dream may be literal or symbolic as well. On a literal level, as mentioned previously you may be intuiting that your brother is indeed in a precarious situation that you feel the need to warn him about. If it doesn’t feel like it fits that your brother himself needs to be warned, then it’s possible your brother may be a symbolic representation of yourself or someone else in your life. Just as suggested you do with the friend, think about how you would describe your brother, and then consider where in your life you identify with him and may need to be cautious yourself.



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Ex-husband’s girlfriend trying to kill me…

Ex-husband's girlfriend trying to kill me...Dream: I dreamed of my ex-husband’s girlfriend trying to kill me.

DreamsMaster: If you’re still in contact with your ex-husband and his girlfriend, the dream could be your intuition picking up on signs that she sees you as a threat and in fact may be trying to drive a wedge between your ex and you.

If you’re not in touch with the two of them, then the dream can be seen more symbolically. For example, the motive you project onto your ex-husband’s girlfriend might actually be your own subconscious desire to “kill” or eliminate that old relationship from your life. You may also be projecting your own subconscious rage onto the dream image of the girlfriend, allowing you to protect your image as the passive victim rather than an unacceptable image as the hostile aggressor.

Here are some questions to ask yourself, that may help point you in the right direction as far as what message the dream is trying to send to you:

  • Do you feel threatened by the relationship between your ex and his girlfriend?
  • Are you harboring resentment toward either or both of them?
  • Do you need to bury the past in order to move forward in your life?


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Middle of the earth was falling in…

earth was falling inDream: My boyfriend and I have been fighting a lot lately. I had a dream that the middle of the earth was falling in and he was hanging on to my hand for dear life. I saved him and managed to pull him up and save him from being sucked in, and even though I saved him in the end he left me anyway. I saw my best friend standing there watching. She killed herself a year ago. Please help me interpret what’s going on. 

DreamsMaster: My sense from the dream and what little you added about your waking life is that you may be harboring some guilt inside for not being or doing enough for the ones you love. In your effort to help (or save) your boyfriend or this relationship, you may have crossed a line into being the Rescuer, and when we cross that line, we can fall into the trap of the Rescuer > Persecutor > Victim cycle (google: Karpman Triangle), a psychological dance that can lead to resentment in relationships. This might be the source of the arguments you’ve been having with your boyfriend.

The “earth falling in” could be a metaphor for your sense that the relationship is losing ground. It could also be symbolic of your sense that your boyfriend is slipping away, not just from you but from life itself.  In the dream, your trying to save him from being “sucked in” could mirror the waking world of your trying to save him from something you perceive is sucking the life out of him. This might be a real danger, perhaps an alcohol or drug addiction? If that doesn’t fit, think about what else you may perceive as a danger to him, which you may be trying in vain to rescue him from.

Your best friend who killed herself is watching. She might represent your fear that your boyfriend is killing himself (either literally or figuratively). She might also represent grief and loss. And abandonment. It’s a pretty intense thing to lose a best friend to suicide. This layer of the dream might be a message to you that try as you might, you cannot rescue others from themselves.

Think about where in your relationship you’ve been crossing the line between helping and rescuing, and take a step back. Ultimately, others must help themselves. Sometimes all we can do is love them through it. And sadly, sometimes a relationship does not withstand the fall.

Stay strong.



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It is in our idleness, in our dreams, that the submerged truth sometimes comes to the top.

– Virginia Woolf

Mad man chasing me…

Mad man chasing meDream: I dreamed of a mad man chasing me and when we eventually got to the point I could run no more, we began throwing stones at each other. I threw the last stone until my eyes opened from the dream. What does this mean?

DreamsMaster: By “mad man” do you mean “mad” as in angry or “mad” as in crazy? Did this man in the dream remind you of anyone you know in the waking world, either personally or from a movie or TV show, for example? What adjectives would you use to describe him, in addition to “mad”?

Did any of the stones either of you threw actually hit and/or hurt the other person?

What was on your mind that night when you went to bed?

Dreams hold many layers of meaning, and the more details you can draw out of them the more success you’ll have at unearthing these layers.

As the dreamer, you’re the only one who can truly determine what the dream means. But here are some ideas to try on and see what fits, and notice what ideas of your own percolate as you read on…

Being chased in a dream is generally a metaphor for trying to escape from some real or imagined threat in the waking world. For example, the “mad man” may represent an unpleasant or “maddening” situation at work or somewhere else in your life that you’ve been trying to avoid; something or someone that you just can’t shake loose psychologically or emotionally.

The “mad man” or perceived threat may also be a shadow side of yourself, a disowned part that you judge negatively and want desperately to avoid or eliminate.

Throwing stones is an interesting choice of offense / defense. For some dreamers, this may be a visual representation of the biblical expression about “casting the first stone” in regards to taking a look at one’s own actions before blindly judging the action of another.

It’s significant that throughout the dream you are not in any real danger, and in fact seem perfectly capable of escaping harm’s way. This could be the core of the dream’s message: That although you may feel threatened and powerless in some situation you’re currently facing in your waking life, in reality you have the personal resources and power to take control in a positive way. Consider how you could be more effective wielding this power.



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