The other night I dreamed that I went to a psychiatrist for an evaluation. I got my glasses out of my purse so I could see. There were a bunch of hovering objects over her desk. She told me to focus on the pickle and tell her what I saw. Is it improving or getting worse? she asked. The pickle was getting worse, it was blackening. As I contemplated the pickle, I became aware that the pickle represented the masculine.
Heh, so maybe I'll lay off the man poets for a bit, it's wilting my pickle.
See, pickles are one of my dream phalluses. I dream about snakes, but in my dreams, these snakes usually something related to wisdom or knowledge.
Now if I ever dream of a snake swallowing a pickle . . .
When interpreting a dream, you should always be conscious of symbols, signs and archetypes.
You should also be aware that symbols and signs greatly vary and often conflict among different times and cultures. For instance, a swastika has stood for many things over the centuries.
It's not that unusual to dream of a symbol you can't recall ever seeing. Once I dreamed angels showed me a white space with a bunch of lines. I had no idea what I was shown. Months later when I was in a museum in Dublin, I saw some very similar symbols on a stone, an early Medieval alphabet called Ogham. There were other objects in that museum that reminded me of that dream too. That was a dream that I came to with no obvious previous associations and only later stumbled across them.
But first and foremost when considering your dreams, you need to explore what your personal associations are to an object or person. It's your psyche. It's going to use your associations to communicate with you.
Earlier this week I dreamed of baby raccoons. If you used some lame dream dictionary (don't) it would tell you that raccoons stand for thievery, sneakiness in the dead of night. Well, no raccoon ever thieved from me and every time I've come across a raccoon, it's been during the day.
My first personal association is from a few years back when I saw a mother raccoon carrying her babies down from my roof. For a month they were living up there. The second thing that comes to mind is my childhood Davy Crockett coon hat. The last thing I think when considering raccoons: rabies.
The first two associations are specific and personal to me, the third is more common. I approach my dreams with my associations first.
Another example, politicians. Different dreamers will have wildly varying associations attached to a specific politician. You must consider the dreamer's impression to grasp what it means in that dream. No symbol or reference books will help you.
The same goes for poets. I've dreamed of hundreds of poets, mostly living. It's quite the exercise to figure out my associations, especially poets who I only know by their poems and sometimes, just their reputations. Often I scratch my head and say, do I have an association for this poet?
Turns out, I do.