Dream Factors and Influences


Analysing a dream is a fascinating process which can reveal much about ourselves and our relationships. The first step in interpreting a dream is to understand the factors and influences which surround it.

Dreams help us to understand more about ourselves. The key to interpreting dreams is to understand the factors which influence dreams and examine the details. Everything in a dream has meaning.

The information relayed in dreams is a combination of several factors and influences. The most common factors and influences are family, home, friends and work. Other contributing factors and influences include; personal desires, hopes, fears and aspirations. These are known as dream ‘sources’.

The next major influence on dreams is society. The factors included in society consist of traditions, customs, ethics, values and principles, by which society operates. These are often condensed into the phrase – cultural identity. Cultural identity contributes greatly to the influence of dreams.

Finally, in the list of factors and influences, there are dream images and themes common to everyone. These include natural urges and instincts; the various stages of life, such as childhood, puberty, old age; and the simple needs and wants that are basic to everyone, such as love, security and sex. Factors such as these are all natural influences.

The details in dreams are often unique and varied. However, understanding the factors and influences involved in dreams enables a better understanding and easier interpretation:-

Theme / Time
What was the general plot of the dream? Was it about a house, being chased, flying, a journey, teeth falling out, falling, or snakes? The time we have the dream can also indicate how relevant the dream is to the everyday world. Dreaming close to waking, indicates events holding a stronger connection to waking life.

Action / Involvement
What happened? Where did it happen? Is it a place you are familiar with? This can give clues about personal insecurity, or issues about childhood or present circumstances. Were you a participant in the dream? Or were you viewing it from a distance? This relates to how intimately you are involved in the dream, in the real world.

Atmosphere / Environment
Was it light and spacious, or dark and claustrophobic? Was it a frightening dream, or an enlightening dream? Where did the dream take place? Was it on land, or at sea? Water represents emotions, and land represents money and self worth. Air relates to the intellect, while being underground relates to searching for lost treasure.

Characters / Objects
Did you recognise anyone in the dream, or were they strangers? They may have been family members, friends or work colleagues. The qualities of the characters are often clues to the qualities you would like to develop. Objects also represent a quality. For example, an object that symbolises a parental figure, indicates the qualities of authority, nurturing and guidance.

Did an animal remind you of anyone you know? Often animals stand as representatives for a situation or person. Your boss may be coded as a bear, reflecting that you feel threatened. In this way, our subconscious can explore our true feelings about a person or event without being influenced by our conscious and logical mind.

Colour / Mood
What were the colours of certain objects in your dream? If your dream was of apples; were they green (unripe), or red, (ripe)? The brightness or dullness of the colour also indicates the general mood of your dream.

The imagery in your dreams can be either interpreted literally, where information has a direct parallel to everyday life, or symbolically, where information is coded in an unusual way. For example, dreaming of free-flying, often represents freedom and release from the daily grind, rather than literally being able to fly.
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