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Body

Because the body so potently depicts the image we have of ourselves, our health and our psychological situation, any distortions or collapse of the body image in our dreams suggests similar effects in our personality, our body, or the way we feel about ourselves.

Sometimes we have a view of our body being without intelligence but working automatically like a machine. But in fact our body and feelings are closely connected and mutually influenced. Also our body shows intelligence but not in words but in the way it works, protects itself and communicates..

Dr. Murphy and I – Dr. Cannon – observed with X rays a curious phenomena after the first part of the small intestine (the duodenum) had been cut across and sewed together again. Although peristaltic waves were passing routinely over the stomach, the sphincter at the outlet (the pyloric sphincter) held tight against them, and only after about five hours did it relax and permit the gastric contents to enter the injured gut. The interest here lies in the relation of the delay to the process of healing; according to surgical observation, about four hours are required after an intestinal suture for a plastic exudate to form and make a tight joint. It was after the proper time had elapsed for that process to come to completion, therefore, that the chyme from the stomach was allowed to advance. Similar results were obtained when the section and suture were made further along the alimentary canal.

Many people believe that their illnesses are caused by wear, bacteria or viruses, but dreams and their exploration sees other reasons. Here is a man’s view of what caused his prostate problem,

Example: Then I wondered what my mistake was that had caused my prostate condition. The response was that I already knew the answer to that, as I had explored it in connection with my own sexual misery throughout my lifetime. The mistake was in not accepting that love does not belong to us, and trying to control it in myself, my family, and those around me. 

There is so much information about dreams and the body it has been put into various sections as explained below. So the entry is broken down into segments as follows:

First comes general body descriptions and situations – which follows on below. This is in another section so needs to be clicked on.

Body Situations such as dead body, dismembered body etc.

Body – Parts of such as face and legs and. This is in another section so needs to be clicked on.

Also see Body DreamsBody Images

A body, or our body: 1 – Your body in your dreams refers to yourself, as in the word some-body. Although your body includes the totality of your experience, it seems to be most pointedly referring to your sense of identity and everything you can experience as an person. So it can depict all the states of mind, emotion and health you meet and deal with. From the sense and experience you have of yourself you project meaning onto the rest of the world in some degree. If you are depressed for instance, the whole world will appear meaningless and empty. If you are joyful everything transforms and appears to respond to you. See What do You bring to Your Dreams?

2 – Your dream body often depicts your present physical and psychological situation. It does this by such dramatic things as you having a broken leg, showing how you have hurt your ability to stand up for yourself; a dead body, suggesting you have killed or deadened some of your emotions or sexuality. Your dream body also illustrates your physical experience of life and the processes of life working in and through your own body. It shows your potentials of personality, such as artistry, love, etc., depending on how the body is portrayed; material existence; the process which causes growth and ageing. See Settings in Dreams also Brain Levels and Dreams

3 – Most of our ‘body’ dreams depict an aspect of what we experience as a person. For instance our body can feel emotions and so our dream body can depict our present state of feeling; through our body we can feel tired or energetic; we can experience pain or pleasure; there can be intense sexual feelings; we can feel attractive or repulsive, healthy or sick. So your body dream needs to looked at to see what of these many possibilities it is showing.

4 – If it is someone else’s body it usually represents an aspect of your own identity or experience as suggested above. But because you are seeing it as someone else it is probably an aspect of yourself you do not directly associate as yourself or are unaware of. The parts of the body emphasised in the dream will give a clue to what aspect of personality, or what function of oneself – such as speech, generosity, anger, one’s thoughts – the dream is dealing with. See Dreams are reflections of our inner world. Try Talking As to discover more about you or the different characters in your dreams.

5 – A body of the opposite sex depicts the non-dominant side of your personality. A woman in a man’s dream for instance might represent his feelings, his intuition, and his emotions and manner of relating to females. A man in a woman’s dream might suggest her thinking, her action in the world and her manner of relating to men. See: anima under archetypes; animus under archetypes; woman.

6 – Your body is an expression of your total history, not only of your personal life. It holds in it the countless generations and stages of history and evolution of which it is the latest outcrop. See Breakthrough to Memory

7 – Although some dreams about the body depict actual physical disease, mostly dreams show how our emotions or attitudes influence or distort the processes of our body. So the dream of a dead body doesn’t signify personal death, but usually shows how we may be killing parts of ourselves by actively repressing them or feeling frightened of them. See: recurring dreams.

 Example: I was being shown round a huge warehouse. In one of the rooms, there were my paintings. In the next room I was shown there was a girl being operated on. She was being revived by electric shock treatment. I remember feeling that it was creepy watching her body jerk and convulse as she was being brought back to life. Then I turned to look in a mirror and saw there was glue all over my face, I was tearing it off to get the layers off my skin. Then I started to tear at my skin. Caroline.

Caroline’s dream is full of references to the body. It occurred at a time she was breaking with a long time partner and shows the re-discovery of her artistic skill, the pain of coming to life again after the deadening effect of the relationship, and the change of self image she is undergoing.

 Example: ‘I felt as if I was going very deep inside myself. It was dark but at first there were noises of the world around me. I seemed to go in much deeper and it was very dark, but with the feeling of great space. Everything was alright until I didn’t hear any noise at all, all that space and no noise was too much and my whole body freaked out and then pulled out very fast before I could stop it.’ Kate P.

Kate’s dream suggests she has remained conscious while exploring usually unconscious depths of awareness in her body. It was a sign of remaining awake will getting nearer her core self; a wonderful thing to do, but many people are frightened. See Levels of AwarenessTwo Powers;

But the next dream is wonderfully clear, showing how a dream fashions around something happening in one’s body.

Example: T. and I are walking around Newport Beach, CA, looking at all the rich movie stars. My mother is apparently with us and we run into her coming out of a restaurant. She says, “I’ve got to get out of here. I’ve got to go!” She is shaking and as I watch her, her eyes close and she seems to lose consciousness. I start to go to a telephone, yelling “Medical Emergency! Medical Emergency!” Then I wake up and have to go to the bathroom with diarrhoea. P.

Example: I was in a hospital. Doctors and nurses were about. I was led to realise my lungs were filling up with mucous or phlegm. The doctor said to me it wouldn’t affect me in a short term, but if I kept on smoking I would feel the effect badly in later life. The dream was so vivid I decided then and there to give up smoking.  B.K.

See: Dreams are Virtual Realities; recurring dreams; Nothing Can Hurt You in Your Dreams

Parts of body

Dead body; dismembered body can be seen by clicking Body Situations

Click the following to quickly find what you are looking for in parts of the body:

(Abdomen - Womans Dream – Shot in – Vomit)  (Abscess) (Ache In Chest Lower Back)  (Anus – Relaxed Tense Entered Feces -Holding) (Appendix Operated on – Having had Appendicitus)  (Arms Right Left Injury Tied Bicep) (Artery)

(Back Carrying on back – Someone on Back)  (Beard) (BloodBleeding From Crack – On Ground – On Clothes Blood Sample –Sucked Sexual Dark Blood) (Bone Burying - Backbone – Digging Up Bones)  (Bowel) (Brow or Forehead)  (Brain No Brain –Something cut out)  (Breath-breathing)  (Breasts Woman’s Dream – In Man’s Dream)  (Buttocks)

(Calf) (Chest Man’s Dream – Healthy Woman’s Dream)  (Chin) (Colon Bowel)

(Ears) (Eyes Blindness Loss Sight Right Eye – Loss Sight Left Eye – Loss of Eye Contact – Closed Eyes – Many Eyes Hair in Eye)

(Face Someone Elses Face – Blushing – Something Wrong with Face - Changing ones Face or Head – Hiding Ones Face – No Face)  (Feet Barefoot Loss of Foot or Feet)  (Forehead)

(Hair Baldness Beard – Brushing Hair - Changing Hair Style – Chest Hair – Colour of Hair – Combing Hair - Cutting off Beard –Cutting Hair Right Off – Dark Hair - Disheveled Hair – Fair Hair – Genital or Armpit Hair - Hair on chest of Female or Child – Long Matted – Long Hair Plaited or Pony Tail - Pubic Hair – Tight Style – Very Long Beard – White beard – Wig Woman’s Dreams Leg or Armpit Hair(Hand Fingers Claw Like Hands – Dirty Hands – Fingernails – Fist Handshake Palm of Hand – Rough Hands)  (Head -Head Without a Body)  (Heart) (Hip)

(Internal Organs)

(Jaw)

(Legs Having no Legs – One Leg Shorter than the other – Hand on Leg – Smooth or Hairy Legs Trying to Run but Legs do not Respond)  (Lungs)

(Mouth Pulling stuff out of Mouth – ChewingMouth Fixed Closed – Teeth Coming Out of Mouth)  (Muscles)

(Navel) (Neck Back of Neck – Head Hanging off – Held by Back of Neck – Hung from Neck – Gripping Neck or Strangled – Thick Neck– Small or thin Neck)   (Nose Broken Nose – Malformed Nose)

(Ovaries and Uterus)

(Paralysed or Paralysis)  (Pelvis In a Woman’s  Dream)  (Penis Replaced by a Vagina – Loss of Penis - Penis Turns into a Snake -Bleeding from Penis – In a Woman’s Dream)

(Rectum)

(Shoulders) (Skin Animal Skin – Rough Skin – Burnt Skin – Seeing through Skin – Shed Skin – Spots Blemishes Moles – Something or Stuff on Skin – Things Escaping from Under Skin) -Spine - Stomach

(Teeth Baby Tooth or Teeth - Bad Tooth – Big or Small Teeth – Canines – Clenched Teeth – Dirty Teeth – Dracula Type Teeth – Finding a Tooth – Having Teeth Attended to No Teeth – Single Tooth – Spitting out lots of Teeth – Swallowing Teeth – Teeth Falling out –Crowns falling Out - Tooth Being Pulled Out – Toothless Woman Swallowing Teeth – False Teeth)  (Testicles Woman’s Dream –Man’s Dream)  (Tongue)

(Umbilical Cord)

(Vagina In a Woman’s Dream – Bleeding Vagina – In a Man’s Dream – Bleeding Vagina in Man’s Dream)

(Womb)

In some cultures the areas of our body are sometimes thought of as sense organs. This may seem strange but is very simple. Without language, communication would be difficult. So language enables us to sense what another being is communicating. If we had been castrated or had a hysterectomy prior to adolescence, we would never develop sexually. Without that development we would not understand two people kissing; or what a mother was feeling when she held her baby. Out of sex drive develops a whole world of feelings and tenderness which enables us to understand many things we see in the world. It is therefore important when reading the particular descriptions below, to remember that each area of our body, through its psychological counterpart, gives us some insight into ourselves and life around us, that is missing if the area is injured or traumatised.

abdomen Almost half the dreams on file that mention abdomen, belly or stomach, show the dreamer being shot, as in the example below. This is obviously to do with a particular type of hurt. When human beings learned to stand up, they exposed their vulnerable underbelly. If we are hurt or threatened we tense the pelvic and abdominal area. The sort of hurt referred to is that related to when we might be deeply criticised, feel badly wronged or slandered. This area often feels the pain of a broken relationship too.

The opposite is to dream of waves of pleasure moving within us, which gives us a sense of integration within ourselves and with the world.

The solar plexus also might link with the potential of our fully active natural drives such as hunger; longing to be held; desire to give of oneself. If these are hurt, we tend to hold ourselves back from active social expression or intimacy in relationships.

The dream might point to ‘gut feelings’ or intuition; feeling reactions in a relationship. For instance in the English language we use such phrases as ‘you make me sick’ – ‘I can’t stomach what you’re doing’ – ‘you haven’t got the guts’ – ‘like being hit in the guts’ – ‘I’m really hungry for you’.

Our abdomen is also our digestive ability, both physically and psychologically. See

Stomach or abdominal dreams may refer to some dis-ease in the actual organs. We might not be able to stomach something we have met in the everyday world. We may not be integrating our experience.

In a woman’s dream: May refer to her childbearing ability or pregnancy.

Shot in the belly: something to do with sex, a painful response to relationship, or feeling a target of someone’s verbal or emotional attack.

To vomit: A discharging of unpleasant feelings resulting from ingesting, hearing, reading, being told, experiencing, something unpleasant.

 Example: ‘The people watching are saying ‘Kill her! Kill her! Kill her!’ Then someone finds an extra bullet, puts it in the gun and shoots me in the stomach. I wake with my body completely straight with my hands on my stomach. I feel my whole body cracking up inside.’ Vanessa. LBC

Vanessa wakes to just such tension, with a sense of her body being fragmented. In her dream Vanessa was re-enacting a disaster in which a man rampaged and shot down many people, and she was feeling the fear it engendered.

Idioms: Belly aching; have a bellyful; eyes bigger than one’s belly; have a strong stomach; turn one’s stomach; butterflies in stomach.

Useful Questions and Hints:

What was happening in this area in terms of my feeling responses to people and events?

What was the feeling involved?

Was there pain or swelling that might indicate emotional wounds?

Might it have something to do with ‘digesting’ new experiences in my life?

Is there a health or diet issue that is causing some concern?

 abscess or boil Abscess still swollen and unrelieved: Emotions still repressed and may be causing psychological infection – influencing views and decisions negatively. The dream abscess may also represent a site of physical illness which may or may not be obvious while awake. In the example below, the abscess has released its pus, or painful feelings, perhaps through Hilary’s prolonged crying. The emotions are, with Hilary, affecting her ‘grasp’. She also uses other imaged word play in ‘near the knuckle’. Washing up shows her clearing away the influence of her ‘evening meal’ of experience. See: individuation; body dreams.

 Example: ‘Was looking at my knuckle and saw that I had a nasty boil which had come away as I did the washing up and all that was left was a big hole, pink and healthy looking skin around. It felt very close to my knuckle bone. My lover had told me he was leaving me for good, and going back to his children. That evening, I cried most of the night.’ Hilary K. 

Useful Questions and Hints:

What is building up inside me that is difficult or painful?

Is there any indication of illness or discomfort in that area of my body – if so do I need to have it checked?

What does this build up of sick feelings or pain connect with?

ache Indicates where we may be holding back the energy relevant to that part of the body. A man who dreamt of an ache in his throat later discovered in therapy that he had been holding back emotions about his father who had died suddenly. On release he was able to say how much he loved his father. Look up part of body to see what the ache might relate to.

In Chest: Withheld emotions.

Lower back: Sexual energy blocked.

Idioms: My heart aches; I ache for it; a pain in the arse.

 Example: I continually have a dream that I have an earache. The pain in my dream is excruciating, then I wake up and there is no earache.

When asked, Debbie admitted that she had problems with a tooth at the back on the same side as the ear. This is why it is helpful to consider if there is a problem area near where the ache appears on the dream. Parts of our body are very interlinked.

Useful Questions and Hints:

Am I aware of any longing or emotions I am holding on to?

Does this connect with any ache or discomfort while I am awake?

If I imagine myself in the dream, what feelings or intuitions arise about the ache? (For help doing this see Stand in Role under peer dream work.)

anus The area of our nervous system around the anus and genitals is highly sensitive in babyhood. So it may link with the self expression, the pleasure, and the feelings of deep connection the baby feels in this area. As it also links with the huge experience of learning self control, and how one’s parents dealt with you going to the toilet, so it can also connect with holding on or letting go; control or relaxation; pleasure or guilt. This in turn could involve feelings of success or failure. Therefore it associates with your WILL.

feeling punished and treated like a child, to feelings or arousal and sexual pleasure.

The anus also deals with what we get rid of that our body does not use. So it can link with the experiences or the attitudes that we want to or need to get rid of. These are the waste products of our life.

If relaxed: Easy self expression.

If tense: Not letting go of feelings you might be judging as ‘shitty’; feelings to do with being hurt or holding back. The holding back might link with sexual pleasure or performance.

If playing with or being entered by penis or finger: Introverted sexuality; self pleasure; narcissism. Perhaps self examination.

Excrement: The negative emotions and ideas we might not want to let go of; sometimes money; worry over something judged unclean; a cleansing or need for cleansing of inner feelings, such as guilt, inhibitions, resentments, hate, worry, or fear.

Holding or letting go: How we give of ourselves; whether we can ‘let go’; our generosity or lack of it.

Idioms: Talking out of arse; pain in the arse; an arsehole; head up the arse; disappears up; all tits and arsehole – no ability to reason. See: excrement.

 Useful Questions and Hints:

Does this in any way relate to childhood feelings, and if so what are they?

Is there any connection with sexual pleasure in the dream?

Is anything emerging from the anus, and if so what does it suggest I am discharging?

back Back Pain: This can be caused by tension, and this is turn could be about holding yourself back through anxiety. See back pain and its cure.

 Back – trunk spine: Mostly the back indicates your strength, particularly moral fibre; confidence physically; decisiveness, ability to stand in face of opposition; power to endure without being overcome. A psychiatrist once told me that many men in a tramps home were diagnosed C.W.B. It meant ‘congenitally without backbone’. That is, They hadn’t developed the strength to deal with everyday life. See Spine

Example: ‘I was looking across a hedge at a bull. I seemed to be just looking at its back.’ Andy.

Andy was a teenager, uncertain of himself. In this dream he was looking at and discovering his strength. This was a revelatory dream for him because he suffered a great deal of anxiety in the past because of an old back injury. He had in fact left a higher  paid job and taken a much lower paid work because he felt he couldn’t cope. From working on the dream he felt, he was adequate as a person. So the dream was a turning point after which his ability to explore and be active outwardly was hugely enhanced.

So the back can also indicate what you are holding back in yourself, or even what is happening to you ‘behind your back’. Holding back in this way can create real back problems because it causes tension in the back – causing pain – causing worries about the back – causing tension – and so on.

The different strata of the back may also indicate different aspects of yourself. The lower back for instance suggests the earliest stages of your development such as life in the womb and birth; but also the earliest levels of experience such as sensuality and sexuality.

The back at about waist height links with your process of growth and digestion of experience, along with sympathetic links you have with others and the world.

The back connecting with the chest indicates your emotional and feeling development and the way you connect with the world through empathy – especially what you take in and put out of yourself.

The neck connects with your ability to express yourself and communicate with others, along with such things as asking for your needs and speaking your inner truth.

Carrying something on your back: The influences and burdens you carry from your past. This can be useful or difficult depending upon what you carry. This also suggest your karma, or the results you face in the present of all past events and actions – cause and effect. See: dweller on the threshold.

Sitting on the back of an animal: Being supported by your inner and instinctive strength, wisdom and animal self. See: animals.

Somebody on one’s back: Feeling dominated by someone else; feeling the ‘weight’ of one’s parent’s, or someone else’s wants and decisions instead of your own. Carrying an influence from the past.

Idioms: Back breaking; back to the wall – See the example in nightmare, and note the use of the words ‘back against the wall and what it implies; behind one’s back; flat on ones back; get off my back; put somebody’s back up; rod for one’s back; pat on the back; stab in the back; turn one’s back on; scratch my back.

Useful Questions and Hints:

Is this indicating strength. If so what strength does it help me become aware of?

Is this an injury or weakness – if so what vulnerability or weakness does it help me become aware of?

What does the theme of the dream tell me about myself? See: themesProcessing Dreams.

Body appearance of

How your body or other people’s body appears in a dream gives a lot of information. Most of this can be taken literally.

From how our body looks people tend to identify themselves with it, women more so than men. In fact in our early years we tend to build our sense of identity from our looks, health and how others react to us. Also our feelings about how attract we are sexually are also used a great deal. But as far as dreams are concerned they have a much wider view than our physical looks and our sexual charm. See Identity and Sex; Identity And Dreams; What we Need to Remember About Us.

So take time to consider if you are confident, happy, purposive in your dream. All these are scene setting for the rest of the dream. If you are tired and untidy in the dream, or your body is looking ill, then these factors represent the state of mind and perhaps even of health you are in or feel yourself to be in at the time of the dream. Also realise that dreams are dealing with a mirror image of your inner feelings about you and also the big global picture of you. These may shown in such dreams as:

 Example: I have this recurring nightmare. I see my mother standing by my bedroom door, blocking it as if I am being trapped and stopped from getting out. I often call to her, “Let me out Mum” but she just stands there staring with no expression on her face at all. I end up getting out of bed and switching my bedroom light on and then she disappears. Sometimes I will see her standing by my wardrobe. It seems as if she is always standing by a door and trying to trap me.

The dream shows Natalie trying to find a way out of her dependence on her mother. Therefore it is a reflection of what she feels and does not admit to herself.

Our identity as it is shown in many dreams is not a formed thing like our body. In its essence it is not even male or female, but both. Summarising such dreams, it is the sense of bodilessness, aloneness, loss of power and los of our sense of identity, which bring so much fear in our dreams. There are antipodes of human experience. At the tip of one is focused, self determining self awareness. At the tip of the other is unfocused void without focussed identity which occurs in sleep. Strangely enough we experience both each day in some degree. The first while awake – the second when we sleep. Yet to face the second with consciousness feels like all the horrors of death and loss. But facing it is important, especially in the second half of life. Although the unconscious carries the dark images we have of death, it also provides what feels like certainty about an existence which transcends death to those who experience it. This is presented as an awareness of existing eternally as part of the very fabric of life. In one form or another this is what those who dare to confront the dark images of death find beyond them.

Smiling: Would be referring to confidence and happiness.

FrowningSuggests anxiety or concern about something.

Baby head on old body: Immature personality; one’s decisions are being influenced by childhood feelings and drives. See: baby.

Useful Questions and Hints:

Am I aware of how young my attitudes and perhaps feelings are?

Can I see signs, even if only at the moment, of how parts of me have not matured?

Have parts of me been frozen or held back in life experience, thus not enabling them, to grow and mature – if so what held me back and how can I help those facets grow?

See The Two Powers and Acting on your dream

 Body electric shock This suggests emotional pain such as one might get on hearing ‘shocking news’ or perhaps a painful way of experiencing change. It can also depict any sort of shock or startling response to internal or external events, and may also be a dramatic way of symbolising the pain one feels physically from repressed emotions such as anger or desire. These may cause such psychosomatic but real suffering as lower back or chest pain.

The electrocution could also be a response to something happening to the body while asleep, such as lack of circulation in a limb causing pins and needles. In some dreams though it is clear to see it as the response we have to our own enormous energy – i.e. we may be frightened of the enormity of our potential energy, or we may be related to in a painful way. Such energy can of course be creative or destructive, as happens with negative emotional energy when the different physical effects of joy or grief and hatred are looked at.

Some electrocution dreams deal with the way we experience and relate to energy. The following example clearly illustrates this.

 Example: I was kneeling on the floor in a house. I have worked as an electrician so was probably working in the house, but in some way I had hold of, or was connected with, a large electric cable. The cable was live with electricity, and it touched my right shoulder. The effect was excruciating and shocking pain. The most intense memory is of struggling to pull the cable away from myself, fighting to stay conscious against the terrible current lashing through me. I screamed out for my mother, who I was sure was in the building somewhere, to switch off the electricity. I knew I only had a little time because I could not survive that current long. I have a vague sense that the current stopped, then the current and struggle started again. T.B.

In exploring his dream T.B. first of all met feelings of great pleasure and strength about his ability to work, and that work and helping people with practical needs was the main way he shared love, the main way he expressed his energy. He says, “So the dream is not simply saying I am working, but that work, as an expression of myself, connects me with others and the world. In other words, this is an important part of my communication, socialising, and loving others.”

He goes on to say, “The electricity is the energy of my life. It is the energy of my emotions, of my connection with others. This had been, as it were, short-circuited by what I felt to be the criticism, the rejection, non understanding of my last two female partners. I felt that I had tried and tried, while preserving my own integrity, to live in the way they wanted me to. But this felt as if it was an enormous self-denial at times. It was a self-denial that created this almost death dealing introversion of energy. The anger I felt about this had in it the sense that there might even be an inherent attempt to kill out my manhood, my flow of positive male energy. That is how I felt, anyway. As I summarised this I felt I could stand up and smile, and say I’m not going to be killed.” See: example under blindness in dreamsenergy sex dreams.

Useful Questions and Hints:

What sudden shock have I experienced recently?

Am I aware of the enormous potential energy I have?

Is the dream depicting the way my energy is expressing or being held back – and is this creative or self destructive?

appendix Something within yourself that may become a problem; an internal problem; possibly referring to the appendix itself.

Having appendix out: Inner pain or problem needing attention or being attended to.

 Useful Questions and Hints:

What am I vaguely aware of that might be a grumbling problem needing attention?

Do I have actual discomfort in the area of my appendix – lower right abdomen – if so maybe I should have a check?

What do I need to remove from my attitudes or from my past experience?

arms Arms usually refer to your ability to love, give, take, create, defend, reach out. Our arms, especially the arm we use most, can also represent all the struggle and effort we have put into life, what we have given and taken, what skills we have learned or created in the work and labour of life.

Right arm: If you are right handed this indicates your active outgoing self, your conscious and capable skills such as you express with this hand and arm. It is the part of you obvious to others and yourself, your strength or lack of it. Injury or malformation of this arm indicates inability to be creative and productive in the outer world. It shows problems regarding manifesting or making real, what you wish or will to do.

Left arm: The left arm is those supportive qualities, those strengths and traits that express in daily life underlying and making possible the action of the right arm. In other words they are the loyalties, the care and strength of support, almost unconscious energy we put into what we do with our right hand and arm – our outer activities. The left arm is the qualities that support outer activities and relationships. In a certain way it represent confidence, the absence of which would undermine all the external things we would be trying to accomplish.

Injury to: Loss of confidence or ability to reach out or create; loss of or psychological trauma regarding those abilities. Left is the supportive feelings. Right is extroverted activity.

Tied up: Sense of restriction to activities.

Bicep: Strength; sense of being capable.

Idioms: Chance one’s arm; give one’s right arm; arm twisting; keep at arms length; with open arms; one arm tied behind back, babe in arms; strong arm tactics. See: left and right;Example under white.

 Useful Questions and Hints:

If my arm is injured, what in my life am lacking or I feeling inadequate in?

What am I doing with my arm(s) and how does that link with waking life?

If this is a positive dream, what of myself is it bringing my attention to?

artery The flow of life giving process in you. It could indicate what you are seeing or realising about the process of life and how it upholds your existence without you being aware of it.

An artery also can indicate vulnerability, because if it is injured you may die. So the dream might be pointing to such a vulnerability that could lead to your feeling hopeless and without purpose.

If the artery is bleeding it suggests a situation that needs urgent attention. This is not usually physical, but about emotional traumas that drain your motivation, joy of life and sense of purpose.

 Useful Questions and Hints:

What am I aware of that is life giving and how can I care for it?

If my dream shows injury, what in me depletes my energy to live and thrive?

What in waking life brings these feelings that I meet in the dream?

back Mostly the back indicates your strength, particularly moral fibre; confidence physically; decisiveness, ability to stand in face of opposition; power to endure without being overcome. A psychiatrist once told me that many men in a tramps home were diagnosed C.W.B. It meant ‘congenitally without backbone’. That is, lacking the inner strength to deal with everyday life.

 Example: ‘I was looking across a hedge at a bull. I seemed to be just looking at its back.’ Andy.

Andy was a teenager, uncertain of himself. In this dream he was looking at and discovering his strength. This was a revelatory dream for him because he suffered a great deal of anxiety and from this felt he was inadequate as a person. So the dream was a turning point after which his ability to explore and be active outwardly was hugely enhanced.

So the back can also indicate what you are holding back in yourself, or even what is happening to you ‘behind your back’.

The different strata of the back may also indicate different aspects of yourself. The lower back for instance suggests the earliest stages of your development such as life in the womb and birth; but also the earliest levels of experience such as sensuality and sexuality.

The back at about waist height links with your process of growth and digestion of experience, along with sympathetic links you have with others and the world.

The back connecting with the chest indicates your emotional and feeling development and the way you connect with the world through empathy – especially what you take in and put out of yourself.

The neck connects with your ability to express yourself and communicate with other, along with such things as asking for your needs and speaking your inner truth.

Carrying something on your back: The influences and burdens you carry from your past. This can be useful or difficult depending upon what you carry. This also suggest your karma, or the results you face in the present of all past events and actions – cause and effect. See: dweller on the threshold.

Sitting on the back of an animal: Being supported by your inner and instinctive strength, wisdom and animal self. See: animals.

Somebody on one’s back: Feeling dominated by someone else; feeling the ‘weight’ of one’s parent’s, or someone else’s wants and decisions instead of your own. Carrying an influence from the past. 

Idioms: Back breaking; back to the wall – See the example in nightmare, and note the use of the words ‘back against the wall and what it implies; behind one’s back; flat on one’s back; get off my back; put somebody’s back up; rod for one’s back; pat on the back; stab in the back; turn one’s back on; scratch my back. 

Useful Questions and Hints:

Is this indicating strength. If so what strength does it help me become aware of?

Is this an injury or weakness – if so what vulnerability or weakness does it help me become aware of?

What does the theme of the dream tell me about myself? See: themes.

beard See: hair below.

blood Very often it links with a feeling of being hurt or injured and of losing energy or the strength that enlivens you. But blood can represent pain, but also passions, deep feelings. It can refer to things that are deeply felt. We have passionate involvement with things. There are certain things that enter into us and cut us deeply. In some relationships we are opened up and we bleed even if the relationship is largely joyful, there still may be deeply felt and painful feelings in it.

Blood can also mean fertility as when it is connected with menstruation. It can be a painful cleansing and difficult period of releasing the old. The old dies away and leaves space for the new to grow.

In a more general sense blood can indicate one’s energy and sense of existence. In common language we link it with our family through feelings of connection or bonding, inherited tendencies – what we now call genes. It therefore includes inherited strengths and weaknesses of character. We say of such things – its in my blood.

Blood is often used as a symbol of universal life or power in one’s life, therefore connection with humanity. Through this it depicts the universal pain or struggle met in human life, along with the possibility of injury and death. In ancient times blood was used as the first ritual sacrament. Later this was symbolised by wine or red ochre. It was noticed that at times of great change, such as birth or death, blood often preceded the change. Blood was seen as the carrier of the spirit of life and character that lived in a person or animal. If we think of what genes now are known to carry, the untold generations of human life, with all its pain, tragedy and wonder, then blood was seen as carrying this collective human experience.

Blood is sometimes felt as a link with the unconscious forces and sub-personalities within. It is a doorway to the subtle world of the unconscious. This connection is perhaps obvious in that for thousands of years, the blood was seen as the substance that carried in it the mystery of inheritance of physical and psychological features. What we now call genes was represented by the blood, and this is still true in some dreams. The blood in a dream can be the doorway through which you touch your racial and family past. The blood brings to life within you the past lives of those who gave you your body. In quite a real sense they live within you as a great group of people, or influences that need to be integrated for you to become a true individual.

When we see blood on the earth or on someone’s clothes, it suggests great injury or death. Blood on the earth therefore marked the spot of either a great battle, a death or a deep wounding. As such it was a marker, a memorial or sign of the act. So this aspect of blood in our dreams must be remembered.

In cultures such as the Macedonian, where symbols were often thought of in terms of good or bad luck, light blood represented good news, dark blood bad news.

For women there is obviously a strong link between bleeding and menstruation. Therefore in women’s dreams involving blood, the blood may depict whatever feelings, pleasure, difficulties are associated with menstruation and the power of female fertility for the dreamer. But you need to look to the theme and drama of the dream to see if this is a correct connection.

Bleeding: Most often relates to emotional or psychological hurt, but can also depict physical injury, or presentiment of it. Emotional hurt could mean hurtful remarks, for instance being told we are not loved – these can sap our motive to live and may be depicted as blood. The bleeding might show a psychological injury, often from past trauma, which is causing you to lose energy or motivation.

Sometimes, as mentioned above, the blood can be a sacrament. As such it is not shown as emerging from an injury or wound but as nourishment, wine or bloody meat.

Blood flowing from a crack: Possibly menstruation or loss of virginity.

Blood on the ground: Someone hurt or dead.

Bloody clothes: Personal emotional hurt or injury, perhaps even death of someone.

Blood Sample: This can represent many things depending upon the rest of the dream. It could suggest and illness, a way of tracing your identity with DNA, or it could be a drug test.

Blood sucked from you or sucking from another: Feeling that you are losing your very life force to someone, or taking energy and life from someone else. Sometimes sex is felt as this. The umbilical connection in the womb is sometimes felt as the life giving connection that if cut off prematurely, is such a loss that expenditure of energy in sex may be felt as vampirism.

In sexual dreams: May refer to loss of virginity, menstruation or fertility; or hurt to sexual drive.

See blood under archetypes.

Idioms: After one’s blood; bleeding heart; bleed someone white; blood boil/run cold; blood brother; blood is thicker than water; blood letting; blood money; blood on one’s hands; blood out of a stone; blood relative; blood sucker; blue blood; cold/hot blood; draw blood; fresh blood; in the blood; in my blood; one’s heart bleeds; out for blood; sweat blood; taste blood; young blood.

Useful Questions and Hints:

What part of my body – or the body – is the blood coming from, and what does that suggest about any hurt I may be suffering? (Look up part of body).

What is my relationship with the blood in terms of what I feel, my interaction or how I deal with it?

What can I understand from the theme and drama of the dream in terms of my life giving processes? See: theme; drama.

bone We may associate several things with a bone, strength for instance. So a broken bone can be a loss of strength and ability. Also something giving structure and support. So a broken bone could suggest that one’s arm – your ability to reach out, to act on and make real your desires and ideas – has been injured or a functional difficulty has arisen.

We often associate bone’s or a skeleton with death. So bone’s can be the remaining material sign of a life, as with archaeology. The bone dug up can be a source of information or memory.

Conversely, our bone’s are a part of us that have the possibility of lasting way into the future, and being a witness to our life. So could represent what will live on after your death.

Burying a bone: Hiding something from someone or from yourself, especially if guilt is felt in connection with the hiding. It might also suggest storing something for the future.

Digging up bone’s: Remembering something from the long past. Looking at the memory of something you repressed in the past.

Backbone: Strength; moral power; support.

Useful Questions and Hints:

If this is my bone, what is being said about my strength or supportive system?

If this is someone else’s bone what am I seeing or feeling about it that I can gain information from?

What do I feel if I imagine myself as the bone and describe myself as it? (For help doing this see Stand in Role under peer dream work.)

bowel Links mostly with how you deal with the waste products of your experience and in your body; with what your being rejects as no longer useful. For some people it connects with squeamish feelings about their internal organs and being unclean. Also, if you have had connections with bowel illness it might well point to worries about that.

Some dreams show concerns about what you have taken in that might be ‘rotten’ – and such things can relate to ideas and motivations that do not harmonise with who you are.

Useful Questions and Hints:

Am I in any way worried about my digestive system – if so what is the worry, and do I need to have a check?

Am I dealing with difficulties to do with a need to discharge parts of what I have experienced – i.e. do some experiences still remain undigested or are bringing emotional discomfort?

Am I holding myself back in some way? See: toilet.

brow or forehead: This usually refers to thoughts, especially clear and insightful realisations. In some dreams there is a mark or even a swelling in the middle of the brow. This indicates the ability to be aware of things beyond the limitations of your senses. It suggests that the instinctive urges or energies have been lifted up into a new form of expression or perception. This sometimes occurs through loving feelings or meditations that are not focussed on desiring physical things.

 Example: I recently took three antidepressant pills over 6 days. During this time I had dreams that my brain was being snipped with scissors. I also developed a large pimple between my eyes – the region of the third eye or crown chakra. And…my friend in Singapore developed a searing headache between her eyes (again the crown chakra) just after I took the third pill. When she called me to tell me about it, her headache automatically went away.

All of this suggests to me that antidepressants cut off our third eye connection to our higher self or whatever spiritual connection exists.  Jan

Useful Questions and Hints:

If there is a mark or words on my forehead, what is suggested, or what do I feel about this?

Am I gaining new insights about something – if so what?

Have I had some new form of perception lately – if so how would I describe or define this?

brain This can suggest intellect, thinking, insight, creativity or what someone really thinks. But there are many other possibilities.

Often we feel that our real self is somewhere inside our head in the brain, so the dream might be referring to your sense of existing. Also we use the word brain or brains to mean cleverness or the lack of it, and some dreams use just this type of imagery.

The brain is made up of billions of cells, and sometimes dreams use this to illustrate how we interact with some events – all our cells, or an auditorium full of people – interacting with the event.

No Brain: Loss of personal awareness or having no self awareness – maybe brainless, not using your brain.

Something being cut out of brain: Loss of some function or sensitivity. If you are taking anti depressants or some other drug it may be due to the drug’s action. This is because some drugs suppress certain brain functions.

Idioms: Brainstorm; brainchild; pick someone’s brains; hare brained; scatter brained; no brainer.

Useful Questions and Hints:

What is the suggestion about the brain – is it growing, sick, bits missing – and what does that suggest about me?

Am I giving a self assessment in this dream, and if so what is it?

Is there something that woke my interest and involved lots of my attention?

breath See: breath.

breasts Self giving, nourishment or the wonderful bonding and connection that arise from motherhood or sex.

In woman’s dream In quite a number of women’s dreams the breasts appear in a health sense, connected with the anxiety about breast cancer. To dream of that does not mean you have cancer, only that you are anxious.

The breasts also link with how positive you feel about your own womanhood and ability to feel proud and easy with your sexual as well as intellectual functions. So in some women’s dreams the breasts are exposed to say, “See, look, I am a real woman.”

Of course the breasts also are used in dreams where the desire, lust or love feelings link you with a man. But such a link is not necessarily to do with an external male. They also indicate how well or badly you are relating to your own wholeness.

The size or development of the breasts in a woman’s dream are often used as a self assessment regarding how fully you have emerged from childhood.

Quite a number of dreams are also about breast feeding, and this usually indicates how easily you can give of yourself. At times it can be about past experiences of feeding and any difficulties encountered.

Kate in the example gives of herself even though frightened, and feels whole – the circle.

Example: ‘I was about to lie down naked near my grandmother as I was caring for her, when she started to suckle my breast. For a short time I was very frightened that she would hurt me or even suck my breast right off, but she didn’t and it felt very good as I fed her. It felt as if we were one, our bodies forming a circle.’ Kate.

This next example shows how the breasts are a measure of emerging womanhood, especially when young. Lin was near to being anorexic.

 Example: I’ve been meaning to tell you about a dream I had when I was so sick. Truly weird. I sort of woke up and rubbed my chest. It was so bony, and I thought in that instant I have the chest of a guy. I then fell back asleep and dreamt I was a boy! Needless to say, after that dream, I began my campaign of making myself eat! Lin.

Woman’s breast in a man’s dream: In some measure this is usually about a return to infant dependence, or childhood pleasure and wonder of accepting a woman’s love and comfort. Even when this is directly sexual, it still links in some way with how well or badly you were bonded with your mother, and what traits you carry from that.

In some men’s dreams the breast are a confrontation with what is felt as the woman’s power in your life. If you feel emotional pain or fear when you get close to a woman emotionally, that is the power you feel she has. Or is when you become intimate with a woman you feel enormous dependence and pain if you feel you are losing her, then that is the power of the woman in you. In other words each man carries deep imprints of his maternal relationship, whether for ill or good, and that acts as a powerful force in his life influencing the way he relates to females. The breasts in dreams can indicate this.

The following example shows Grant, the dreamer, meeting his ability to unite with his inner ‘woman power’ and to recognise this as an aspect of himself.

 Example: Two night ago I had a fascinating dream that left me feeling more at peace with myself, and more hopeful of a real sense of growth than for a long time. The dream was one of those that seemed to go on and on. In one section of the dream I was with a number of women in what felt like a classroom or semi public building. I felt completely at ease with the women and the marked feature was that I had easy and relaxed intimacy with any of them. With one of them for instance I was gently stroking her breast, which was very cone shaped and nice to hold. Even as I dreamt this part of the dream I had quite a high level of lucidity. Enough to realise that I was experiencing the ability to claim any of the female aspects of myself.

This then also occurred with males. In this section of the dream though I actually became any of the males who appeared in the dream. Again I was lucid enough to realise how I was able to accept any aspect of myself and identify with it easily, and how wonderful this was. There was another section of the dream which is difficult to remember. I believe it was more general in that I was realising some of the pleasure or wonder of being able to accept life – myself – so fully. Grant.

 Useful Questions and Hints:

What are my feelings about breasts in this dream?

Are the breast(s) linked with feelings that I am usually repressing or accepting?

Am I at ease in this dream – if not what is it that prevents this?

buttocks The buttocks have many possible associations. Sometimes it connects with feelings about uncleanness or dirt. Also, like any orifice of the body it is a vulnerable place and so might link with feelings about being entered or abused.

This area, because it is so linked with the anus/rectum is also connected with how we control our spontaneous urges – going to the toilet. It therefore might indicate self control or lack of it.

Due to early training in controlling bladder and faeces there may be feelings about being naughty or doing wrong with this area.

Punishment is often associated with the buttocks too.

For men a woman’s buttocks are often sexually attractive, and so some dreams use this to link with sexual feelings. See: anus; rectum under body.

Useful Questions and Hints:

What feelings do I experience in the dream that gives me a clue to what I associate with the buttocks?

Is there any sense of uncleanness in my dream, and is so where does that emerge from?

Am I feeling sexual feelings here, and what does the rest of the dream comment on that?

Calf  This represents your physical ability to get about in the world. Or the ability to do the many things your calves enables you to do, such as dancing, stand on tiptoe, and also be nimble on your feet. See: legs.

Useful Questions and Hints:

What was happening in my dream that related to my calf?

If it was injured how did the injury happen?

Was there a because factor involved? See Because Factor

Also try Acting on your dream.

chest This is often used in a way similar to a wooden chest – in other words a place to store emotions. So the chest signifies your emotions as a whole, but also how you are relating to them. Many dreams either include being shot in the chest or a weight on the chest holding the person down – maybe someone standing on the chest. Being shot indicates an emotional shock or hurt that, depending on the dream, can be very painful or needing attention.

The weight on the chest shows how feelings, emotions are so heavy they are holding you back from being easily active and outgoing.

Some dreams show things going into of being pulled out of the chest, and these indicate either influences enter your feelings and changing how you feel about things, or stuff that you have held within, old emotions perhaps, being drawn out.

The chest is a reasonably protected area because of the ribs, so in some dreams it indicates one’s strength, defensiveness, or the ways you protect your ‘heart’ – your sensitive core of feelings. But it can also be used as an image of your pride or your positive and life giving feelings. The chest, with its inflow and outflow of air also shows your connection with others and the world through empathy, through your feeling links.

 Example: The heart pain – a pain right through my chest from front to back, or a general ache and pain in the chest – I have been suffering for some months now, I feel is tied up with this business of ‘opening up’ to my feelings.

Example: Feeling tired – exhausted – just lying drained of energy. I am conscious of people talking, saying I was ill. I thought I was just tired. Then asked what the matter was. I was told it was my heart, ‘dry and hard like a boiled egg’ they said. Found I couldn’t talk. Tried to write, wanted A. to know that I loved him, but the pen kept drying up. Finger and feet began to get cold. An icy coldness slowly spread all over my body. A liquid warmth was then all around me. I thought I was haemorrhaging. A needle was stuck in my left arm and my chest was being cut open – it didn’t hurt. There was a lot of activity. They said I had gone. I was trying desperately to let them know I was still there. Then I was in a bag and sliding off a table. The bag was tied above my head. Then from the confined darkness I was free. There was a brilliant light all around. I could still see the sack with a body still in it far behind me. I was incredibly happy and full of energy. Trish L

Often people go through a death and rebirth experience, as in the above dream. It is often a necessary thing as our old self, full of habits, emotions, thoughts and attitudes that were causing so much distress needed to be got rid of, so that a new self could emerge.

Man’s dream: Sense of social confidence and strength to meet the world.

If healthy: Positive sense of social recognition.

 Woman’s dream: Ability to give of yourself; feelings about womanhood. See: breath.

Idioms: Get it off my chest.

Useful Questions and Hints:

Is my dream indicating that I have been hurt – if so what has hurt my feelings recently?

Does the chest show me being proud and strong, or does it have signs of weakness – if so what are they?

Is this about the way I link with others – if so what am I realising?

Am I anxious about the health of my heart?

Am I showing some sort of defensiveness?

Try using Easy Dream Interpretation and meeting things I fear or dislike in my dream

chin This can be used in your dreams to show your strength of character and such things as determination and ability to face difficulties. But often such dreams are self assessments arising at the time. The example below for instance shows the dreamer taking an analytical look at himself and assessing his strengths and weaknesses.

 Example: I look in the mirror and see I have a large face with weak chin. Then I see that my face is huge, with a huge neck, and in all, reflected great underlying strength, and this was the “image” people would see of me. This is my mission, to share that strength.

Useful Questions and Hints:

What weakness or strength is my dream showing, and how can I usefully use those insights?

Is this me feeling anxious, or is this a useful insight?

What can I do with the traits I see in myself?

colon See: bowel above.

ears Dreaming of ears suggests awareness of subtle information, rumours or intuition. Because we do not have to see what we can hear, the dream ear can depict information we have gathered without seeing it – in other words intuition. That is, impressions of things that are not obvious. This particularly refers to the ears of animals.

Ears also refer to your ability to know what is going on around you out of sight, but particularly your skill in listening to what others are telling you. This might be literally about what they are saying in words, but also about what they suggest by who they are and how they are.

Ears can also suggest private things whispered to you, as in the example. But they can also be an erotic area when kissed or nibbled.

 Example: James Mason and I are in the back seat of a car. I’m like Lolita. He’s very sexually attracted to me and tells me to change my clothes. He kisses me and pinches my left nipple. I’m sexually excited. I say, “But people can see.” An older woman is standing outside the car. He insists. I put on a pretty, brief pleated skirt with see-through lace seams and a turquoise velour top. He leans back in the car and says in a whisper in my ear, “Take off your panties.” I feel sexually excited. I do so. I get out of the car, noticing I can see flashes of my legs through the lace. He is possessive and demanding and I love it.

A dream might also at times indicate ear infection, as the following example.

 Example: Example: I continually have a dream that I have an earache. The pain in my dream is excruciating, then I wake up and there is no earache. Any ideas? Could I be grinding my teeth to cause this problem. S.

When questioned S said she did have a slight problem with a tooth at the back of her jaw on the same side as the dream toothache. Such tooth problems can lead to ear infections. So they are worth taking notice of, and one should check out one’s health in the area.

Ear rings: They can often refer to the quality or othersie of your hearing/intuition.

 Example: In my dream I found a pair of earrings on the floor, found one first and then spotted the other.  I picked them up and had a good look at them.. they were shaped like strawberries and sparkled.. as if made of some kind of jewel.  I popped them into a box labelled “lost & found” up on a shelf knowing they would be claimed.

The dreamer gave an interpretation – My own thoughts on this is something I had lost, connected to my own inner hearing, that which enabled me to listen to my own intuition/Spirit. Berries being that they nourish ourselves from within so I have once again found something that will nourish my being on a deep level. DD

Idioms: An ear for; all ears; bend your ear; blow it out your ear; can’t believe my ears; cauliflower ear; coming out of our ears; cute as a bugs ear; ear candy; ear to the ground; pin back my ears; in one ear and out the other; play it by ear; reach one’s ears; flea/bug in the ear; gain the ear of; ears burning; long ears; lend an ear; music to my ears; having an earful; hear from; up to my ears; will not hear of; hearing things; silk purse out of sow’s ears; up to my ears; wet behind the ears.

Useful Questions and Hints:

If I am failing to hear something, what does the dream suggest it is about?

What am I hearing and what can I gather from that?

If I am picking up intuitions of things ‘out of sight’ what do they tall me?

Try reading Using Your Intuition and Being the Person or Thing

eyes This is a bout How we SEE the world and ourselves. Although eyes are not mentioned much in the collection of dreams used for data in this book, SAW, SEE, SEEING, LOOK and LOOKING, constitute the highest number of mentions. In a computer word count of 1000 dreams, these words were mentioned 1077 times. Feel, feeling, felt, came second with 855 hits. So dreams are predominantly a looking at and seeing activity, in the sense of insight and awareness.

Fundamentally eyes are about awareness – seeing and being seen. These aspects of relating to the world and others have enormous impact in our life. What we see, and how we are seen, leave great depths of feeling. Someone I know of saw his mother kill his father. That sight will never ever leave him.

In many dreams the eyes represent our understanding, or how we ‘see’ the world, our view of things or other people. This is very personal. Also, they depict intelligence; our ability to give attention, and where we focus that attention, along with our boundaries of awareness.

Eyes are used in many ways in dreams. As these quotes from people’s dream descriptions show, eyes can represent the soul or psyche in its many moods – ‘dark deep eyes’; ‘desperation in its eyes’; ‘shining eyes’; ‘impersonal eyes’; ‘staring eyes’; ‘eye to eye’. So in most dreams the eyes display the inner feelings or situation of the person or yourself.

Here is another description of eyes that tells so much.

She looked at me quickly. Her eyes were very brown, but quite round. “I was very much in love with somebody, ” she said. Her eyes were wide open looking at me, and her mouth was trying to carry on speaking, but the weight of emotion behind what she wanted to say carried the words to her eyes, where they began to come out as tears.

Blindness: Not being aware, not wanting to see something – usually about oneself.

Loss of sight in right eye: Not seeing what is going on in the outside world.

Loss of sight in left eye: Not seeing what you are really thinking or feeling; not aware of self, motives, behaviour; no ‘in-sight’.

Lack of eye contact: Avoidance of intimacy; feeling ashamed or bowed.

Closed eyes: Introversion or avoidance of contact; not wanting to see.

The following example shows how eye contact can change a relationship, as if the eyes are in themselves a form of contact and touching.

 Example: ‘ I saw a young soldier with a gun, but as our eyes met we were attracted to each other, and he put his arm round me.’ Pauline B.

Example: ‘I was dimly aware of a biggish black bird that came down close beside us on the step and pecked at the baby’s eye, then it flew off. The eye was gone completely.’ Heather C.

Heather’s dream shows the eye depicting the ‘I’ or identity. In fact her sense of self was damaged in infancy. Therefore ‘eye’ can often be a play on words meaning ‘I’.

Many eyes: *** 

Idioms: All eyes; an eye for an eye; apple of his eye; bat an eye; beauty in the eye of; believe my eyes; black eye; bright eyed; catch your eye; can’t you see; cry your eyes out; eyeball this; eagle eyed; evil eye; eye of the storm; eye opener; eyes glazed over; eyes peeled; evil eye; feast your eyes on; fresh pair of eyes; give her the eye; got my eye on; I see; I saw it with my own eyes; sheep eyes; keep an eye open; keep an eye out for; lay eyes on; one in the eye; meet eye to eye; more than meets the eye; out of the corner of my eye; turn a blind eye; keep your eyes open; easy on the eyes; right before my eyes; turn a blind eye; sight for sore eyes; wink of an eye; you must be blind; your mind’s eye.

Hair in eye: This suggests some sort of irritant or irritation connected with what you can see or have seen. If it is the right eye it means something interfering with what is going on in the outside world. If the left eye it is an interference with what you are really thinking or feeling; not aware of self, motives or behaviour; no ‘in-sight’.

Useful Questions and Hints:

What is it I am ‘seeing’ or understanding in my dream – can I define it?

In what way are eyes shown in this dream, and what idiom or life situation does that suggest?

What feelings or unspoken words are being expressed here?

face How your face appears in a dream points to how you see yourself, your self image, the fears or feelings, even anxieties you have about how you appear to others and yourself. It can also show the expression of or hiding of inner feelings and attitudes. If it can be defined in two words – ‘identity’ and ‘communication’. This is because not only do most of us believe we are how we look, but also through our face we communicate to others what we feel and think.

The face, especially if you are looking at yourself in a mirror, can also mean that you are facing yourself – facing up to yourself, or need to, ‘face yourself’. This dream often occurs when you are ready to really look at who you are and what facets of yourself you might be ignoring or even hiding.

Someone else’s face: How you see them and how you relate to them. What you feel and think suggest what your opinion of them is, and how you relate to them inwardly. The face could also point to what feelings and memories of them you carry within you.

Blushing: Unconscious response to things. Feelings that you usually keep hidden, or are not usually aware of yourself.

Something wrong with face: Sense of not being adequate; fear of how others see you. If it is someone else’s face it probably depicts how you feel about them, or your intuitions about them.

Changing one’s face or head: Changing one’s attitudes or decision about something; being uncertain or ‘two faced’. Having different aspects of your personality or seeing another side of yourself. Change the wording to fit seeing someone else with changing face – your to their.

Hiding one’s face: Being ashamed of something; low confidence or uncertainty; being afraid of how others see you; hiding motives or feelings.

No face: This is probably what is called a shadow figure if you see it on another person – parts of your nature or behaviour that you usually keep hidden or do not admit to. If you are faceless then it could suggest either that you realise your real self is pure potential without particular characteristics, or you feel a fear of about loss of identity or uncertainty about who you are.

Idioms: Blue in the face; egg on my face; face down; face the facts; face the music; face up to; face value; fill your face; flat on one’s face; face lift; fly in the face of; get out of my face; in your face; keep a straight face; long face; poker face; pull a face; save face; shut your face; two faced; wipe that smile off your face; written all over your face. See: head below.

Useful Questions and Hints:

What is being expressed or felt here?

If there is change what is the change moving toward or expressing?

What character, qualities, or lack of them does the face depict?

feet Your basic psychological support system, therefore the attitudes and ideals you use to get around in the world. Where you place your feet in the dream can also indicate whether you feel secure in your present life situation, or whether you are finding conditions, ‘footholds’, to advance or make changes.

 To dream of feet might also suggest your sensitivity to your present life situation, whether it is rough going or not.

 Our feet can sometimes be linked with roots, in that we stand upon the earth with them. As such they are the way the lowest or most primitive in us is transformed, just as roots lift up earth in the process of transforming it into living cells.

 As the idioms below suggest, we mention feet a lot in our everyday language to indicate attitudes, motivation or lack of it, and how well or badly we are coping in life and relationships.

 Barefooted; To be in contact with reality, your real life situation. Might also suggest rough going if walking is hard. Of course, in some cultures it could mean poverty.

Loss of foot or feet: Incapacitated in making moves, or in being independent or self-motivated; in the Oneirocritica, c.AD 350, it says that to lose one’s feet points to a barrier in regard to a planned journey.

Idioms: back on your feet; caught flatfooted; cold feet; drag your feet; fancy footwork; feet of clay; footloose; grass grow under; itchy feet; jump in with both feet; heavy foot; land on your feet; put my foot down; put your foot in it; pussy-foot around; put your best foot forward; put your foot in your mouth; set foot in; shoot yourself in the foot; sweep you off your feet; take a load of your feet; two left feet.

Useful Questions and Hints:

Do any of the idioms suit the situation in the dream – if so what does it suggest?

If my foot or feet are damaged, in what way is my ability to progress or ‘stand’ in waking life difficult?

Am I in good or difficult ‘standing’ in my life – if difficult can I imagine changing it?

forehead See: brow.

hair Mostly hair in dreams links with the way you are thinking, your self image and attitudes. In some dreams it can link with sexual attraction or even what sexual characteristics you are displaying. Therefore changing the style of your hair would show you changing the way you see yourself, or how you want others to see you.

We sometimes use our hair and the way we style it to show what group or social group we identify with. So a hair style could link with a social group or status – business; hippie; middle class; smart and motivated; laid back; Goff’s; punk; artistic etc.

 Example: I was watching a man do a stage act. It started with him looking directly toward me and gradually taking on the character of a hippie person. His hair was in a pony tail at the back and he became less well groomed. Then he shook his hair loose from the pony tail and went through amazing changes in which the whole styling and colour of his hair altered and changed the way he looked, and even his sex. For instance his hair became shoulder length, red, beautifully styled in a full waved perm of shining hair. As this he was a beautiful female. At another moment he turned profile and the hair styled backwards into a mane of wavy hair. T.C.

This dream shows how the hair depicts character and mental attitude, even gender. See: washing hair.

Baldness: Ageing; feeling obsolete; lack of thought; maleness.

Beard: This depends on the age of the person and the situation in the dream. For instance stubble on a teenage boy suggests he is moving into manhood. But a beard can also suggest carelessness – as when someone hasn’t shaved; a mask if someone uses it to hide their youth; or a way of life that does not conform, or like a backwoodsman. Sometimes the link is with a war veteran, suggesting a long exposure to conflict and extreme living conditions.

Brushing hair: Clarifying or bringing order to attitudes or thoughts. Getting rid of emotional or relationship tangles or tangled ideas.

Changing hair style: Changing the way you see yourself, your self image. Perhaps also changing attitudes and a change of mind.

Chest hair: Masculinity, virility. If it is on a woman, it suggests her expressing masculine qualities.

Colour of hair: In everyday life we unconsciously gather a lot of information from someone’s hair colour. For instance racial background is one immediate thing we see. But hair colour might well link with someone we know – our father, or mother, or someone close to us. If that is not the link it can suggest attitudes – light-headed for instance; dark thoughts; fiery temperament with red hair, or age and perhaps wisdom with grey or silver hair.

If the hair is artificially coloured this shows the person or yourself trying to be something you are not at your ‘roots’. But this might also show an attempt to stand out, to be different to those around you to gain attention or change your self image.

Combing hair: See: comb.

Cutting off beard: Making a change; feeling more certain about your manhood; or uncertainty about manhood, depending on dream. It can also suggest a fuller meeting or self expression, and uncovering of who you are. In some cultures it might suggest leaving behind traditional religious beliefs.

Cutting hair right off: This depends on what hair is cut off. If it is wild and unkempt, then it would show a real change and a more disciplined way of thinking and acting. If the hair style suggested some sort of social, religious or cult affiliation, then it would show a move away from that. In general it shows cutting back on what you think or dream, like clearing out a cupboard of all the things no longer needed. It can also show denial of sensual, sexual and physical drives, as with a monk, or acceptance of age or baldness.

Dark hair: The thoughts and ideas that move you yet are largely unconscious. Might show ‘dark’ thoughts or attitudes. But it can also suggest racial dispositions, such as Latin passions or responses, or the black cultural way of being. As mentioned above, it can also link with someone you know.

Dishevelled hair Mental confusion, personal carelessness about how you appear to others. It might also be an indication that you are ruled by crazy thoughts and ideas.

Fair hair: Awareness; ‘light headed’. Might link with racial types such as Scandinavian stock, or indicate a coolheaded person. Being blonde is also for many women and men a statement of wanting to be attractive, or wanting to attract attention and not be one of the crowd.

Genital or armpit: Sexuality. Your natural or instinctive feelings and drives. See: pubic hair below.

Hair on chest of female, even child: The male side of the woman; might be parents desire for a boy generated male characteristics.

Long matted: Not caring about social image or self; drop out.

Long hair: Freedom; permissiveness; girlhood with woman.

Plaited or pony tail: Girlhood; socialised or disciplined thoughts and feelings.

Pubic hair: Some dreams mentioning pubic hair do so in a way that suggests it as a glimpse of what lies beneath – or at least a glimpse of whatever pleasure or emotions, perhaps even fear or pain, are generated by the experience of or thoughts/fantasies of sex. When the pubic hair is missing it is about the revealing of the sex or gender. Of course, today, the appearance or absence of hair could refer to the latest fashions in sexual display.

Another possibility of the lack of pubic hair is that your sexual feelings, needs and power are being made conscious, or are brought to awareness.

In connection with teenagers it shows the emergence of their sexual life and all that will bring.

Tight style: Discipline; self restraint.

Very long beard: Sense of eternal or long life.

White beard: Wisdom or experience gained through long life, and perhaps an awareness of life beyond the senses.

Wig: False attitudes or thoughts; an assumed social front.

Woman’s dreams – Armpit or leg hair: Social expression of sexuality or physicality.

Idioms: harebrained; hair of the dog; get in your hair; got you by the short hairs; keep your hair on; hair raising; have us by the short hairs; let one’s hair down; make you hair curl/stand on end; didn’t turn a hair; put hairs on your chest; tear one’s hair out; split hairs, without turning a hair. See: shampoo.

Useful Questions and Hints:

What is being expressed by the hair style or things done to the hair?

Is the hair coloured, if so what impression do I have of it?

Is this different in any way to my own hair style – is so what do the differences suggest?

hand Most frequently dreamt of part of body. It depicts how you express yourself in action or relationships; your grasp of life, of ideas, of opportunities. It shows the way you hold on to – or let go of – people, your children, situations – this is why people are handcuffed to take away their power. The hand is an extension of your power – to give, take, wound, heal, support or do. Sometimes it is hands we reach out to protect ourselves or others. With our hands we touch other people and the world around us.

The hands express the full range of human emotions and desires. Everything from violence to the tender caress, or skillful surgery or creativity, are manifest through the hands.

Fingers: More than anything else it is through the fingers you feel and explore the things around you . Although your eyes allow you to see the world, it is with your fingers you take hold of it, work with it, create or destroy.

Fingers can be expressive of your feelings. It can be the finger of scorn; accusing finger; finger of suspicion; beckoning finger, or to put your finger on something and therefore know something about it.

Fingers represent your grasp on things, your method of materialising yourself, or leaving your mark upon matter. Therefore your personal skills.

The finger can represent the penis, as is common use in sex-play: or your means of sensing. or fingering things.

Fingers can, as the wedding ring finger, suggest something like marriage. The finger print also denotes your uniqueness.

Claw-like hands: Clawing, wounding ability.

Dirty hands: Dirty work; unclean activity; something you have been doing that has left ‘dirt on your hands’ – suggesting perhaps that you want to get rid of the influence it has left in your life.

Fingernails: These sometimes depict your ability to effect or change something, to grasp small things. They could also reflect your way of life such as rough physical work or otherwise, suggesting whether life has been hard or kind. Perhaps also your state of health. They might be weapons, or reflect your personal condition – i.e. dirty or cared for, whether you are ready to really use your hands.

Fist: Anger; restrained anger; threat; graspingness, selfishness, arrogance, aggressiveness, tension.

Handshake: Contacting an aspect of self; friendship; testing a relationship or gaining an impression of someone.

Palm of hand: It is the most used form of contact with the world, with matter and work or creative action. The other side of the hand is the opposite of that, and suggests a none physical action or purpose. It is about the mental faculty of decision making of non physical activity. It can also been seen as a notepad on which you write memos.

Rough hands: Marks left by difficult or demanding experience; roughness in handling others.

 Idioms: a bird in the hand; a free hand; an old hand; at the hands of; bite the hand that feeds; can’t put my hands on it; caught red-handed; change hands; don’t hand me that; eat out of the palm of your hand; firm hand; first hand; give me a hand; hand in; hand out; hands are tied; hands down; hands full; hands up; hand me down; hands off; hand over fist; hand to hand; hand to mouth; hard hand; have it in hand; helping hand; in good hands; hold your hand; in the hands of; lay my hands on; laying on of hands; lend a hand; like the back of your hand; open-handed; out of hand; out of our hands; raise a hand; second hand; upper hand; wash your hands of; burnt fingers; at one’s fingertips; snap one’s fingers; soil one’s hands; try your hand at; green fingers; have a finger in; itchy fingers; sticky fingers; fingers crossed; lay a finger on; point the finger at; get one’s finger out; fingers to bone. See also: Example in sweets under food.

Useful Questions and Hints:

What is it I am doing with my hands or fingers – is it creative, destructive, giving taking, etc?

What feeling, thoughts or attitude am I expressing with my hands, and how does that relate to my life?

What descriptive words are linked with my dream hand(s) – strong, big, hurt, small – and what does that say about what I am doing?

head The head usually links with your thoughts, opinions, your intellect, and especially your ability to make decisions. Therefore it is an indication of your intentions.

Because your eyes, ears and mouth are part of your head the turning of the head toward or away from someone or something links with this ability to make decisions, to avoid seeing or being involved in something.

The head, as with the face, can also depict your self image. This is fairly understandable from the huge number of idioms about head and face, such as ‘lose one’s head, lose face’, so one might literally dream of a headless figure. The position of the head also shows what is felt, as when we say ‘held held high’ or ‘hanging my head’. One can also be ‘in one’s head’, meaning locked up in thinking and worries and so not seeing what is going on around you; or ‘out of one’s head’ meaning crazy in some way.

Dreams may also use the head as an image to show how one is ‘in two minds’ about something, or is changing one’s mind. This might be shown by having two heads, or changing one’s head.

 Example: A big man, with several gunmen, came into the house at Woburn Walk, threatening to kill my father. I held them off by threatening the leader with the 410 shotgun held at his head. There was no definite conclusion one way or another at the end of the dream.

The dream is obviously using the idea of the head as being vital to life. It is just and idea as you cannot be killed in a dream. See What do You bring to Your Dreams? And Nothing can Hurt You in Your Dreams

 Here is another dream showing how we do not need to be frightened of attackers.

 Example: I was in bed. There was a knock at the front door. My wife answered it. I heard a scuffle and a man’s voice. He was assaulting her. My wife said in the struggle I would come, and the man laughed. I got out of bed and got my gun. I went into the room and rammed the rifle barrel in his face. My wife got clear. He said I wouldn’t have the nerve to fire the gun, still slightly mocking. I said, “Wouldn’t I!” And swung the gun like a club, smashing it on his head. He ran out into the street and I threw the broken gun after him.

Head without a body: This might mean you are not in touch with your physical and sexual needs, or it could mean you eel like a ‘nobody’.

Idioms: above one’s head; a good head; a head start; banging one’s head against brick wall; come to a head; egg head; enter one’s head; funny in the head; get it through your head; get something into one’s head; get your head together; give head; go off one’s head; head above water; head of steam; head in the clouds; head in the sand; head man/woman; head over heels; head up hold your head up high; heads will roll; lose your head; off the top of my head; over one’s head; out of my head; swollen or big head; square head; talk your head off; turn one’s head; two heads are better than one.

 Useful Questions and Hints:

What am I doing with my head – turning to look at, turning away, held up, down?

Where am I ‘heading’ in my dream, and what does this indicate?

What is the drama of the dream suggesting about the head – losing it – hurt – changed – and how does that link with my waking activities or attitudes?

 heart Emotions, sympathy, tenderness, love, affection. Also inner feelings, desires, secret thoughts, conscience. You can take heart, and thus carry on through difficulties, or lose heart and give up. In some dreams the heart stands for worries you may have about your health. It might not be that you have heart problems, but simply that because of down feelings, your ‘heart’ is not in what you are doing, so there is no zest for life.

Your dream heart indicates your emotions, and through them your pity, sympathy, your likes and dislikes. Of course it also might point to your actual physical heart. This obviously links with relationships and their challenges. If you think it refers to your physical heart get it checked out.

 Example: I experienced a degree of fear that the problem with the motor referred to my heart. I let myself slip into the fear and it dissolved and I saw that it referred not to my physical heart, but to my heart as my feelings. I could see that the problem is to do with no feeling connected with people. There’s nothing that makes me feel connected with people. I don’t feel excited about anything.

Being stabbed, shot or in any way injured in the heart may depict deep emotional hurts, but also may be a warning of physical heart problems.

Many dream about the heart are in connection with pounding or racing heart, and these are indications of anxieties or fears, sometimes of illness or death, that are pushed into the unconscious where they rattle about scaring you. Most of these are simply what they show themselves to be in the dreams – fears. Fear that is repressed can cause great tension and illness. Most of such fears are groundless and best brought out into daylight where you can see them for the lifeless, bloodless creatures they are. See: fear – dealing with.

The dream heart also depicts your connections with other people as the following example shows.

 Example: I was in what looked like huge white ribs. In the ribs was a big heart beating. Beyond that was my homeopath. I could hardly breath, struggling to live. I could hear the heart beating, but as I listened I could also hear another heart beating. It seemed to me it was my sister’s heart connected to my own invisibly. The homeopath came forward and stretching open the ribs, reached into them, took hold of the invisible heart – it was like a shadow behind the other heart – and pulled it out. Immediately I could breath again and felt I was whole. In everyday life I and my sister have been incredibly linked, even to the point of having cramps at night on the same nights, though living in different parts of the world. I had become ill recently out of this connection, but as soon as I had this dream I was well again, but my sister became ill. She has just been diagnosed as HIV positive and is dying.

In the Bible there are nearly a thousand mentions of the word heart. In modern language we might describe this as referring to unconscious intentions or feelings. This might still be the case with heart appearing in dreams. So it could relate to what you are feeling, desiring and intending unconsciously, as with the example above.

Idioms: after your heart; break your heart; change one’s heart; cry your heart out; done one’s heart good; don’t let your heart run away with your head; eat your heart out; faint of heart; from bottom of heart; have a heart; have no heart; have a heart; heart like stone; heavy heart; lost your heart; my heart’s in my mouth; open-hearted; pluck at the heart strings; sick at heart; steal your heart; take it to heart; the heart of the matter; wearing your heart on your sleeve; young at heart.

 Useful Questions and Hints:

What feeling or attitude is involved in this dream and where do I meet that in my waking life?

What is happening to my dream heart, and how does that relate to my life?

Is there fear or some threat of death here, and what anxiety am I feeling while awake?

What am I pushing into my unconscious that my heart dream is showing me?

In case you need it see Dreaming about an Ex  and Beware of Love

internal organs Often to do with concerns over health. Could be a sense of illness in that part of body. But mostly such dreams are unfounded anxiety about illness. See separate organs.

Useful Questions and Hints:

What fears am I feeling about my health?

Am I aware of vague pains or aches inside that I am ignoring – if so wouldn’t it be best to have a check?

What is my dream suggesting that is happening – and is that likely to be real or symbolic?

jaw In general the jaw suggests strength of will or purpose, sometimes called determination, or even stubbornness.

Jaws also link with your strength to stop anyone getting into you or at you – through your mouth. They are your power to hold onto emotions – by clenching your teeth.

Often we tense our jaw to refrain from showing our real feelings. The jaw can also represent being swallowed up – in other words a fear of losing your identity or will, thus being at the mercy of someone or something. The one idiom linked with jaws is about snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. This shows jaws as a fatal end, being lost to something or someone.

Useful Questions and Hints:

Am I noticing anything to do with stubbornness or tension in waking life?

What am I holding onto or tense about?

Is my strength emerging more fully?

legs Dreaming about your leg or legs usually connects in some way with the attitudes or confidence that supports you in your everyday life. It also links with what motivates you, the emotional and physical strength you use to get about in life. To have one’s legs knocked out from under one means loss of confidence and ability to carry on with life.

Although you may depend upon someone like partner or parent for support, or on work or position for self value, ultimately the legs represent your own emotional or conceptual support system. So in your dream about leg or legs you may be considering what state your own confidence, your own self value is in. When trying to understand legs in your dream See: left and right; lame.

In some dreams legs are shown as having the qualities of roots, and bringing strength from the earth. This shows you drawing on deep reserves of your strength and wisdom from your connection with the Earth’s processes and chain of life.

Having no legs: This shows a serious lack of confidence or the inability, perhaps sometimes, to stand up for yourself.

One leg shorter than another: This links with whether you are right or left handed. If you are right handed, then the right leg represents your outward activities, and your left represents your feelings and attitudes – possibly vice versa if you are left handed. So a short left leg would suggest you lack confidence, therefore your outer activities are not fully supported. If it is a short right leg, then you have not developed enough skill or strength to be outwardly as effective as you are capable of. See: example under abandoned and example under right side of body.

Putting hand on leg: An approach to sex.

Smooth or hairy legs: Smooth legs show a more feminine strength, hairy a more masculine.

Trying to run but legs will not respond: This may simply be because while dreaming all your voluntary muscles are paralyzed so do not respond to you attempts to move. See: paralysis while asleep. Another reason might be because you are trying to go in a direction you feel anxiety about, or have no desire for.

Idioms a leg up; cost an arm and a leg; felt like I had a ball and chain on my legs; I couldn’t stand up for myself; last legs; leg over; leg work; legless; didn’t have a leg to stand on; my legs went to jelly; my legs were paralysed; on his last legs; pull your leg; tail between his legs.

Useful Questions and Hints:

Are my dream legs/confidence shown to be healthy, or do I need to work on them?

Am I ‘standing up’ well, or do I need to work on my confidence?

Where are my legs taking me in the dream, and how do I relate to this while awake?

lips

lungs This might relate to tension, feelings of being ‘suffocated’ in a relationship or situation, as one may have been with one’s mother or home life. Often to do with smoking or such Idioms as relate to breathing, such as: Catch one’s breath; bated breath; hold one’s breath. See: breath.

 Example: I was in a hospital. Doctors and nurses were about. I was led to realise my lungs were filling up with mucous or phlegm. The doctor said to me it wouldn’t affect me in a short term, but if I kept on smoking I would feel the effect badly in later life. The dream was so vivid I decided then and there to give up smoking. B.K.

As can be seen B.K’s dream refers very directly to her smoking habit and was a strong enough experience for her to stop smoking.

Useful Questions and Hints:

What is my dream suggesting about my lungs, and is this physical or symbolising something?

Do I feel suffocated in any way in my life?

Did I feel anxious in the dream, and if so what is this anxiety about in real life?

mouth Basically the mouth is a pleasure area, but it is also the way you express pleasure or pain, as with smiling or grimacing. So the mouth is a way you express feelings or satisfying needs such as your hungers, along with sexual or sensual pleasure. As an organ of expression the mouth can also give thanks for life and utter beauty in words or sounds. This is a way we uplift the dark things in us and transform them.

Sometimes speaking can be likened to shooting things out of the mouth, projecting them to or firing them at other people. But the mouth can also be receptive as when we take things into our mouth pleasurably.

We also eat with our mouth, so it can indicate, depending on dream content, what we take into us, or what we expel or need to get out of us, as in the following example.

 Example: I go into a bathroom and begin pulling weeds from my mouth. Weeds, weeds and more weeds come out from my mouth – come from deep down inside of me. I am still pulling them out when I leave the bathroom and someone, a woman walking behind me, helps me to pull some weeds that are trailing from my mouth behind me.

Pulling stuff out of the mouth is a common dream, and most likely expresses the feeling of discomfort we feel if something foreign is in our mouth or throat. It shows the feeling of urgently trying to rid oneself of something that is unpleasant – perhaps feelings we have taken in, or things we have said that leave a nasty taste in one’s mouth.

Because we speak with our mouth and tongue, they can represent the things we say. A dream of our mouth being buttoned – button your lip – or sewed up, could therefore suggest that inwardly we regret having said certain things, and need to hold our tongue. But speech is a lot more than noise or emotional expression; more even than utterance of thoughts. It is the giving form or clarity to the previously unseen, the unknown. Through the mouth we can also can pour love and praise as when we sing.

Chewing: Considering something; mulling over something; trying something out – getting a taste of it so to speak.

Mouth fixed closed: Inability to express something, or a decision not to express something you hold inside. Sometimes a feeling of being inadequate socially, or that you do not have the power to get people to hear you. As in the example below, not having people understand what your difficulty is.

 Example: I am in a situation which is different every time, but always includes different people in a conversation. Suddenly I can’t talk. It’s as if my mouth is sewed together on the outside. I make muffled noises, straining my muscles to open my mouth. I think that if I pull hard enough the stitches will tear, but they never do. It seems to me that even my muffles are loud enough to be heard as a scream, but no one I’m with seems to notice. They smile and carry on as usual. By this time I feel so desperate I usually wake up in a terrible state.

Pulling something out of mouth: Trying to clear emotions or attitudes not properly expressed. Perhaps one is not admitting something.

Teeth coming out of mouth: See: teeth.

Idioms: a bad taste in my mouth; all mouth; a big mouth; butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth; down in the mouth; hand to mouth; horses mouth; loud mouth; mouth watering; nasty taste in the mouth; put your foot in your mouth; put your money where your mouth is; shoot your mouth off; shut your mouth; silver spoon in mouth; word of mouth. 

Useful Questions and Hints:

What is happening to the mouth and in what way might that link with everyday experiences or feelings?

If I remember how I felt in the dream, when has that feeling occurred in my waking life?

Do any of the above descriptions link with what is happening in the dream – if so what are they describing about my life?

muscles Your strength, and ability to do things, therefore confidence and sense of adequacy. Muscles can indicate feelings of being outwardly forceful, or masculinity in its physical aspect. Also may refer to your physical muscle, and therefore how good you feel about yourself and your abilities physically.

Muscles of particular parts of the body would refer to the strength or weakness of what that area suggests. So an injured bicep of your right arm – if you are right handed – would suggest a feeling of weakness of inadequacy in your outer activities, or something to do with being able to produce an effect outwardly. It might therefore indicate a lack of confidence. So look at the limb or body part in which the muscle is to define it. 

Useful Questions and Hints:

If this is about injury or sickness, in what way do I feel lacking in power or confidence?

What specifically is my dream presenting about my muscle(s)?

If this is about health or development of muscle(s) what can I observe about my increasing ability to express in the world?

What am I confronting in life about my confidence and self image?

navel The navel is a very important dream subject and can indicate your feelings of connection with your mother. But such feelings transfer onto any person we develop a close and feeling relationship with. So when there is any threat or disturbance in the relationship with husband, wife, or partner, this area might be involved and appear in a dream. These feelings might be positive or very disturbed, depending upon your birth and childhood experiences. The likelihood is that such feelings will be blamed on the partner, wife or husband, instead of you being aware that they arise from one’s earliest experiences of connection and physical and emotional dependence.

The navel, and its link with the umbilical cord also can deal with feelings of dependence and the need for nourishment at a basic baby level. As such they sometimes become very linked with sexual need and what is felt in the sexual relationship.

At a more abstract level, this area – the solar – plexus – links with the way we connect with other people and the world through sympathetic feelings. It deals with how we take things into us from others, and what we give out. The digestive tract, with its ability to absorb and excrete is an image of this, but needs to be seen in a psychological way. Hurt, disturbance or pain in this area of our psyche can lead to tension and painful emotions or even physical sensations in relationship with a person or life.

See: navel; umbilical cord below; Example under umbilical cord; birth dreams; blood sucked under blood.. Particularly read the piece under active imagination about the umbilical connection loss.

Useful Questions and Hints:

How would I describe my early connection with my mother, or with my present partner – is it easy and secure, or do I still hold back or feel insecure in any way?

Is something happening in my life related to secure connection in a relationship?

What is the situation of the navel in my dream?

neck The neck may indicate the way you connect your thinking (your head) with your feelings and sexuality (your body). Your neck is also the weak or vulnerable part of you, unlike the chest or head that is protected by bone, so any attack to the neck shows being influenced through your vulnerable feelings.

A woman who experienced a lot of neck pain and explored the underlying causes of this wrote:

Over the past few weeks and last weekend I got an opportunity to spend an extended period of time alone and relaxed during which I was able to tie the threads together, and understand what the throat and neck symptoms are about. I had been thinking along the lines of suppressing my inner creativity due to fear of censorship and that is one element, but I think the more fundamental is that the throat is constricting my experience of the environment, because I am scared stiff of what it will do to me. If I experience the outside world “raw”, it will evoke such strong emotions in me that I will be blown apart, annihilated, so I cut down what I experience of it and I try to manipulate it so that I cut out anything that will evoke painful emotions. S.

As the throat is the narrow channel through which we express or repress our emotions and reactions, it can become a site of great tension or pain. What S. is realising is that she is causing her neck pain through her ‘constriction’ in her throat. When S. tried to drop her controlling attitude she described what she met as follows:

Example: I guess it’s a process that needs to occur bit by bit: you can’t turn over ingrained belief patterns all at once. The other day my neck tension became very painful and wearing and I felt very demoralised because I thought all my progress was an illusion. The next day I woke in a state of terror and anxiety but the tension had gone. “Good,” I thought, “I would rather have the terror”. And I have been trying to keep the terror and investigate it. It is the terror that I will not know how to deal with what life brings, or how to cope, and the resulting emotions will be overwhelming and ultimately blow me apart. So there are issues of self-trust, but I think that is because I am assuming that I’ll be using my father’s rules. I have to convince myself that if I use my rules, life will be a beach!

Because the throat holds our organ of speech, the neck sometimes depicts our will, our ability to ask for what we want, and also our confidence, as when we use the idiom, ‘stick my neck out. The neck is also the point up to which we can be easily immersed in water. Beyond that point there is danger. So it can depict what we can take in life, and what is more than enough.

Back of neck: This suggest emotional energy that is largely unconscious and may be blocked. Our biological energy not only flows into movement, sex, digestion, etc, but also into being aware, feeling, expressing who we are and our potential. As described by S. above, this can be held back for various reasons. If it is not is flows up the spine into the head. It may then express through the mouth, or be experienced as an uprush of understanding or insights.

Head hanging off: Dolls sometimes lose their heads because they have been so abused by their owner, so this may link with feeling that life has so harshly treated you that you feel like a helpless doll being dismembered. See: Dismembered body.

This can also suggest ‘losing one’s head’. See: head.

Held by back of neck: Some dreams show someone being held or carried by the back of the neck. This is probably a link with how we see cubs being carried, suggesting helplessness and dependence, along with being cared for.

Hung from neck: Quite a few dreams show someone, or yourself, hung by the neck. There are many possible things this might indicate. For one thing it definitely links with death or the possibility of death. Such a death might be the result of self sacrifice, as show in the Tarot card of the hanged man, or it might be as the result of social action – a cause and effect of things done; a punishment because of feelings of guilt.

However, many hangings are due to suicide, and so might in a dream reflect depression, loss of any pleasure in life, a retreat from pain, or feelings of hopelessness or guilt.

In some dream however, there is a different sense of the hanging. It suggests not a death but an almost complete suppression of the life in one. A strangulation of the flow of pleasure and creativity that would otherwise stream through one. In such a case the rope needs to be removed and a new way of relating to oneself developed. (For help doing this see Carrying the Dream Forward under peer dream work.)

Gripping neck or strangled: This has connections with strangled the creative flow in oneself or another. It is a way of repressing or controlling one’s natural responses and feelings. But it may be shown as being gripped or strangled by somebody else, and might therefore show how another person’s influence in your life has a strangle hold over how you express yourself, what you say, and what you do.

Large neck: This suggests power, the ability to survive or face threats and persevere. It also may indicate having an inner strength or bigness.

Small or thin neck: Vulnerability of some sort, maybe emotionally. It could also indicate lack of reserves as far as health or illness are concerned.

Idioms: Breaking one’s neck; breathing down one’s neck; dead from the neck up/ down; neck and neck; neck of the woods; pain in the neck; put one’s neck on the line; risk one’s neck; stick one’s neck out; up to one’s neck. See: throat.

 Useful Questions and Hints:

Is the neck in any way threatened or attacked – if so what am I feeling vulnerable about or attacked by?

Is something or someone gripping the neck – if so am I, or my responses to someone else, causing me to hold myself back?

Is something stuck in my throat – is so what is it I am having difficulty saying or expressing – maybe in asking for what I want or need?

nose Through our nose we sense things that are completely invisible, but nevertheless tell us a lot about what we are sensing. It therefore often appears on dreams to depict our intuition, our sense of whether a situation or a relationship is wholesome or rotten – as with ‘smell a rat’. Such sensing of situations might very well give us a direction to go in, so sometimes the nose is about making a decision or going in a direction.

The nose can also indicate curiosity, or even ‘nosiness’ – poking our nose into other people’s business.

 Example: I dreamt my mother was strangling me with her nose. Her nose was pressed right into my neck stopping me breathing. Celine.

Celine’s dream shows nose being used to represent being nosy. Celine was fifteen at the time of the dream. She agreed that her mother was being over curious about what she was doing.

Also the nose is very sensitive and if hit can be painful, so in some dreams it shows us feeling that someone has ‘put our nose out of joint’. In other words we have come into some sort of verbal or emotional conflict with someone.

In some dreams the nose might depict feelings about the penis.

Broken nose: Signs of having been through struggles and conflicts in life. Maybe it indicates how someone has hit you emotionally.

Idioms: As plain as the nose on your face; cut off your nose to spite your face; following my nose; have a nose for; hold your nose; keep your nose clean; nose out of joint; look down your nose; no skin off my nose; nose job; nose to the grindstone; pay through the nose; powder my nose; rub nose in it; turn up your nose; up one’s nose.

Useful Questions and Hints:

Am I sensing something that helps me make a decision or choose a direction?

Has my nose been ‘put out’ by someone or something?

Am I seeing my nose as something to be ashamed of?

Is there something rotten I am sensing – if so what does that refer to in life.

ovaries and uterus: For many women the uterus represents their sense of being a full woman and their adequacy, just as testes do for men. Of course it also links with the ability to have children, so could represent fears or feelings about this. If you dream of problems in regard to the uterus, it is always worth having a physical check.

The way we develop as a personality emerges from very fundamental biological and psychological levels, of which the reproductive/sexual is deeply important. Because of this the uterus may represent for women the source of their emotional and creative energy. This at its primal level is linked with procreation, but it can flow from there into other directions.

If you are a woman, this is your potential. You developed in this way because you are a creature of evolution. If you deny that part of you – the urge to procreate – you deny yourself. Do not cut yourself off from your roots otherwise you will die. To become free it is not necessary to repress that part of you. In fact that basic, primeval drive is your source of power. It is a great river of energy. Out of that your power arises. You do not have to become childbearing to have that creativity. Take hold of that primitive part of you, that ancient river of desire and longing, flow with it. Of course it will try to go in the old channels, the old pathways. This may lead you to start looking for a mate. That is okay. Feel it. Own it as yours. Now create your own male inside yourself. Build him out of your ideals, your longing, and your need. Then form your inner male from the many parts of their own nature. Your pleasures your pains, your power and your weakness. Take the love you have and breathe in to the man the breath of life. Take that male and blend it into your female. Then take off and fly.

If your dream is directly about your ovaries, it may be about feelings, fears or hopes you have about your fertility and your ability to procreate. But it might also link with the deep drives or urges you have as a woman to guard and care for your ‘eggs’. This is the big difference between yourself and a male. A male can lay his eggs – sperm – and leave them. A woman holds onto her eggs, guards them, and nurtures them into growth. See: am I a man – am I a woman.

If this fundamental drive is thought of simply as energy, this is understandable. But it is energy that is highly personal and felt as our emotions, fear, hopes and urges. If the energy is not handled well it can flow into neurosis and depression. If we are in union with it then creativity, wellbeing, love and pleasure are expressed and experienced as its flow. Therefore some dreams featuring the uterus will be drama in which the relationship with this energy flow are detailed. See: energy sex dreams; vagina; individuation.

In a man’s dream, or even in some women’s dreams, the uterus might well represent prebirth experience – life in the womb. This might include the need in some of us to return to that experience to integrate aspects of it that have remained troubling to our adult personality.

 Useful Questions and Hints:

Is the dream suggesting a physical problem – if so am I experiencing emotional difficulties in regard to childbearing – or should I have a physical check?

Does this is any way suggest pregnancy?

How am I relating to the energy flow of reproduction in my life?

Does the dream suggest wanting to merge back into the womb?

paralysis/paralysed this suggest a lack of confidence. It can arise from fear or a sense of not being able to cope, as well as feelings of hopelessness, or that there is no way out of a present situation.

For many people, the emotional results of events in childhood have a paralysing effect in their present life. So if there is great fear or pain associated with the paralysis it would be worth seeking to get behind the fear or pain to its roots.

Dreaming one is paralysed may depict the paralysing effects either of fears we have, or what we have imagined as real in the way described in the entry on paralysis while asleep. We may be ‘paralysed’ by feelings of guilt, inadequacy or internal conflicts.

The healing of the paralysed man by Christ represents this removal of guilt, shame or fear by contact with one’s wholeness.

Useful Questions and Hints:

What is paralysing me in the dream – and can I locate that feeling or situation in my waking life?

Am I aware in the paralysis, as when lucid in a dream? If so see the entry paralysis while asleep.

Are there influences in my life or circumstances at the moment that leave me undecided or in conflict?

pelvis This relates to the sexual function as a whole. This is not simply sex, but reproduction and how you handle this power of life and death.

The pelvis may also link with the way you merge into another person, or if you can allow that merging and emerging, as in deep sexual melting.

Some dreams show the pelvis as connected with lizards or snakes, and this shows the powerful instinctive drives and energy that can either flow out in sexual activity, or flow up the spine as expanding consciousness. Our unconscious often connects sex with giving oneself, a death of self, and making connections or bonds – obviously reproduction also.

In woman’s dream: The pelvis may connect with your ability to have a child, or even with early childhood experience

Useful Questions and Hints:

What is being emphasised in this dream – pain, pleasure, longings – and how does that relate to me at the moment?

Is this dream about my ease or difficulty in relating to me sexual urges?

Is my pelvis moving or vibrating in the dream – is so how am I relating to that flow of energy?

penis For a man the penis represents more than simply his sexual appetite. It depicts the whole drive of life through his glandular system that develops the body type he has. It is therefore often depicting a sense of his own power of self expression, his potency in expressing himself and capability in the world.

The healthy function of the sexual organs predispose a mans body toward male sexual characteristics such as square hips, muscular frame, facial hair and deeper voice. This brings a certain creative explosiveness to his personality, creates urges toward fatherhood and loving his woman, with connected desires to supply the needs of family if he is emotionally healthy. The positive aspect of the penis/masculinity is for him to want his woman to meet his maleness, his caring aggression, his sexual desire, with her own fiery female energy, needs and strength.

So the penis in the male dream can link with any of these characteristics, or in some way indicate difficulties, trauma or fears about them.

 Example: Emily takes my penis and loses it? For a time Emily really did control my penis. I was completely at her mercy. P

This is one of the themes in male dreams, showing how the man is at the mercy of his sexual desires for a woman. In this sense he feels she controls him. It might even be that she is shown cutting off his penis, suggesting relationship with her kills his sexual drive.

Example: Dreamt I cut off my penis and used it to masturbate myself. This I did by pushing the penis inside me, where presumably I had a vagina.

Example: ‘My lover Terry, myself and another woman were all on our bed. The other woman seemed very sure of herself and kissed Terry in a very intimate way, he doing the same to her as I lay very near to both of them. Then Terry stuck his bottom in the air and started to lick my chest and breast. I found myself licking around his penis, felt I was under some kind of pressure from both the other two to do so but didn’t feel too shattered as I did it with love for Terry, but I had a bitter taste in my mouth.’ Sally P.

In talking about this dream Sally said she often struggled with what she wanted, and what her partner wanted in sex. She might go along with his needs, but not find it palatable. Even if she did do it with some love, it might leave a ‘bad taste in her mouth’.

 Example: ‘I felt as if I were as one with Terry and I realised he was trying to make a journey, as his penis, into his mother’s vagina. Her vagina looked like a long dark tunnel and was threatening to him. I said, ‘You haven’t given your mother satisfaction and you say you will not. Then he was really smashed up in body. Withdrawing into a garden with a high green hedge. I took a leaf from the hedge and began to pull it apart with my hands. Terry said, ‘Look what you are doing, teasing me.’ I felt withdrawal wasn’t the way and started to follow him, walking alongside the hedge. I said, ‘It feels like you are strangling me, so why don’t you do it and kill me?’ We have been going through a lot of sexual withdrawal, Terry saying his sexuality was his to do with as he wanted.’ Sally P.

This second dream of Sally’s is a shrewd summing up of Terry’s sexual fears. In fact Terry suffered a great deal of anxiety about sex, and later uncovered the sort of fear and desire to avoid giving his mother satisfaction in becoming a full blooded man shown in the dream. Our unconscious is a very capable psychologist, and while Terry in Sally’s dream represents her insights regarding him – and must not be seen as a statement of fact about Terry. Nevertheless, such insight are often enormously useful in dealing with relationship difficulties.

Just as women may experience penis envy, men may experience vagina envy. This because there is nothing that a man can do that is quite as miraculous as having a baby. In some men this involves a huge struggle regarding their sexual orientation or easy expression of heterosexual sex.

Penis replaced by vagina: Could be feeling inadequate as a man or be developing a contact with the female receptive in oneself. It might also show the loss of male drive in sexuality.

Loss of penis: See: castrate.

Penis turns into a snake: Feeling the intense instinctive drive of sexuality. This is a realisation of the drive as existing beyond one’s personality and is an expression of what the sex drive is doing, depending what is happening to the snake. See: reptiles lizards snakes.

Bleeding from penis: Emotional hurts or fears that are interfering with expression of healthy sexual feeling.

In a woman’s dream: Your relationship with, desire for a mate and therefore your relationship with your own desires and male characteristics, such as ambition, work capability, aggression, intellect.

For a woman, the penis may represent your feelings or fears about meeting a man’s full sexuality, as well as the deep experience of the relationship with your father, and all the issues of dependence, fear, love or anger that still exist in your from your childhood. It connects with your experience of growing from childhood, and how your father met your emerging female sexuality. The penis is also the holy grail of your desire for sexual expression. The reality underlying the symbols of temples and churches, embodying as they do the sacredness of the creative sexual drive and the mystery of life.

The penis might also depict the details of the sexual relationship with your partner. As with the example of Sally’s dream below, the events in the dream define the problem or relationship.

Freud suggested that some women experience penis envy – a sense that their vagina is not as good as a penis. This theme often appears on women’s dreams and may be the nucleus of a powerful conflict if explored.

 Example: Dreamt that I have an icicle hanging off my penis

In this dream the man’s sexual drive is show as frozen, probably repressed by anxieties or relationship difficulties.

Example: I was with a very attractive woman and felt to see if my penis was erect. It was, but I seemed to have no power there. When I explored the issue of my sexuality, I realised that when I hold back my sexual feelings toward women, for whatever reason, then I feel slightly depressed, disconnected from the world, and with less personal positiveness in what I do. It is almost like a stream of life flows through me when I am happily sexual, which is diminished by my restraints, whether moral or social. Once the river of life is flowing through me again I feel whole and healed – I feel I can achieve things in the world.

As with the above examples, the penis in a dream is usually a direct reference to sexual feelings, fears, or problems. As these can be quite complex several examples are given below.

 Example: ‘So for the third time I held the woman and made love. The woman’s vagina was like a flower. I don’t mean to look at, but in physical sensation. My penis felt like it was penetrating petals of flesh and touching with great pleasure a central receptive area. I was left with the feeling of being able to make love again and again without any negative effects. It was a very positive and healthy feeling.’ John T.

John is feeling confident about his sexual drive. Although a powerful drive, subtle feelings and fears have an intense influence not only on the pleasure of sex, but also the response of the physical organs. The relationship with the penis and sex act in one’s dream shows what fears, hurts or attitudes are influencing the sexual flow. See: castrate.

 Example: ‘Was in a house with my wife. Outside the door was Something which wanted to come into her – an invisible being. We were frightened and it said ‘Do not be afraid, I want you to put your penis in your wife and wait for me to activate you. In that way you will form a body for me.’ I woke and realised the dream was moving me to parenthood. Already having three children I realised this would mean another 20 years of responsibility. Nevertheless my wife and I made love. Two weeks later I dreamt my wife was pregnant with a son. In fact nine months later she bore a son.’ Nigel I.

In this interesting dream sequence the penis is Nigel’s drive to be a father. See: castrate; bed; knob; pole; reptiles lizards snakes.

 Useful Questions and Hints:

In a female dream – what is my dream showing my relationship with male sexuality is?

In a male dream – what is my dream revealing about the way I relate to my sexual drive?

Does this dream reveal anything about the way I am in an intimate relationship – if so what is it?

Are there any signs of me growing beyond old patterns of my sexual/emotional behaviour – if so can I enhance them?

rectum The rectum is the final part of the colon or large intestine just prior to the exit, which is called the anus. Sometimes the two words are confused, so the exit might be called the rectum. What matters in regard to your dream is what you have understood it to mean prior to the dream.

This whole area is one that is very sensitive to emotions and sexual experience. It links with very primal feelings and may easily become tense, or respond to hurt in oneself or others. One of its main functions in life, as with the bladder, is to control or release the excretion of faeces. As a baby the process is spontaneous and beyond our control, so has to be learned. It therefore frequently becomes a physical focus for any problems or lessons to do with control or letting go. Thus we have the phrase ‘he/she is really anal’ meaning they hold on to everything or try to control everything.

This holding on or ability to both control and let go, are at the very basis of dealing with adult life, and influence whether we can allow our creativity and sexuality flow. Problems here deeply influence how we deal with our sexual and emotional love, and our ability to let ourselves flow out into activity an creativity. Tension and holding on can lead to a type of auto-homosexual experience. In other words instead of the flow going outwards to others and the world, it is turned back on itself and become inturned sexuality and aggression.

As already mentioned, this area, which links very strongly with the genitals, psychologically links with the earliest stages of our development and our earliest experiences as a baby. Many muddled or unconscious experiences are contained in this area of our psyche regarding sexual feelings, desires and self expression. So if you are dreaming about this area it might be that you are becoming more aware of these things. If so you may begin to experiences many sexual urges and confusions that previously remained unconscious or buried in your body.

This base area of the body also depicts the powerful instinctive and biological forces or potential lying at the base of our being – at the base of our personal development. These forces, sometimes represented by a snake or lizard – the instinctive reproductive, flight and fight drives – are the power flowing into our life. If they are not allowed to flow into the development of our personality, we will lack energy and power in some way. In other cultures they are encouraged to flow beyond the fundamental pathways of genital sex toward the functions of greater awareness and insight, thus opening their other possibilities.

Useful Questions and Hints:

Am I meeting any experiences to do with controlling or letting go – if so what is involved?

Am I getting rid of some of the crap I have carried around internally or externally?

What struggles with infant feelings or sexuality am I meeting – if so what are they?

See Use the body to discover dream power - What is the main action in the dream? -

Victims

shoulders These often link to themes of strength or contact with another person in the dream. They express the ability to bear or to carry whatever life brings. Again and again the words ‘head on my shoulder’ or ‘arms around their shoulders’ appear in people’s dreams, suggesting warmth, friendship, but perhaps not full intimacy.

Another frequent theme is the person touching you – or you touching someone – on the shoulder. What is depicted here is someone trying to get your attention or make contact in a gentle and acceptable way.

The size of the shoulder features sometimes, and depicts the sense of strength you have about yourself or the character of the person in the dream. So large shoulders show a lot of strength to hold, carry or support someone, or to accomplish something. Small shoulders suggest the opposite.

Idioms: cold shoulder; have broad shoulders; shoulder to the wheel; shoulder to cry on; rub shoulders with; chip on the shoulder; lay the blame on your shoulders; straight from the shoulder; head and shoulders above; look over your shoulder; shoulder to shoulder.

 Useful Questions and Hints

Is the dream suggesting contact or support – and how does that connect with my life at present?

Is something happening to link with carrying someone or something, and am I managing it?

Is something or someone trying to get my attention – if so can I link this with my waking life?

skin This is often shown in dreams as the quality you display to others, or your awareness of someone else’s quality. This means things such as skin colour, condition of skin, whether rough or smooth, young, old, thick, thin, healthy or injured.

It is also your contact with the world. Through it you feel warmth or cold, wet or dry, and all the subtle interaction with other people and your environment. So to understand the dream consider what impression you have of the skin, then ask yourself how this connects with your self image, or your sense of your own quality.

The skin may also relate to what tactics we use to deal with others; our strength or vulnerability in feeling the impact of other people, their remarks and actions. It is our protection against the world.

A skin can also be a disguise, a cover, underneath which another you, or another person exists. In these cases the skin might suggest something you have taken on that is not really expressing your real feelings or potential. So the dream might show you pulling the skin off or even tearing it off.

Animal skin: The spontaneous level of yourself such as instincts, flight and fight, and so your animal wisdom and survival drives. If the animal is being skinned, See: skinned animal under animals.

Rough skin: A surface impression. If this is a dream about yourself, it suggest either that you have been through difficult times and so are well worn with a rough exterior, or you feel that is how others see you.

Burnt skin: A hurt you have suffered in relationship with the outside world or people.

Seeing through the skin: An insight into what is going on under the surface of your mind or body.

Shed skin: Like a snake, changing your old way of life, shedding old attitudes. This might refer to outgrowing a stage of your life, like a spider shedding its skin. So a move from youth to adulthood might be shown as this in a dream. This usually leaves you feeling vulnerable for a while as you adjust to the change.

Spots, blemishes, moles: Feelings about personal failings or some sense of not being as good or acceptable as other people. Maybe a feeling that other people see you as unattractive or can see failings in you. Often links with shyness or difficulties about facing or being in the company of people.

Occasionally it could indicate that you have inner disturbances that need to be dealt with. See: working with dreams.

Something or Stuff on the skin: If this is a liquid or substance it could mean you have been in contact with something. As the skin absorbs all that is on it, there might be a suggestion you are taking something in that is either harmful or healing.

If it is a thing or a creature on your skin this shows you sensing an influence. What it is depends on the dream.

Things escaping from under the skin: This usually refers to powerful emotions that you have contained for some time and an event or circumstances are now allowing to surface. This means you will be aware of them in some measure in waking.

Depending upon what it is that is escaping, it can also refer to a physical condition. For instance the following dream refers to a virus the dreamer has.

I have had the same dream as I fall asleep for several years. I have it nearly every night just once, sometimes, rarely, twice as I fall asleep. I dream that I find a dried piece of skin or scab somewhere on my body, usually my foot or my hand, though it has varied over the years. I begin to pick at the skin/scab and scratch it until it comes off. When it comes off it unleashes a flood of seed spiders that engulf me. Another variation is I find some odd black hairs growing out of my body and when I examine them more closely they are regular sized spiders crawling out of me and they begin to engulf me.

Idioms: beauty is only skin deep; by the skin of your teeth; get under my skin; jump out of your skin; more than one way to skin a cat; no skin off my nose; skin alive; thick skin;.

Useful Questions and Hints:

Is the skin shown as protective – if so what against, and how well is it working?

Does my dream show the skin as an expression of who I am or the person is – if so what is the impression it is giving?

What qualities or racial type does the skin show – and what do I associate with that?

Spine It represent the whole spectrum of life, like a tree, the Tree of Life. It covers every aspect of our life from movement, sexuality, digestion, emotions, speech, thinking and touching the invisible.

st0mach An area of intense reactions to threat. Also it represent your own vulnerabilty.

Shot in stomach: The wound in the stomach is the feelings you get when someone threatens you. There is no actual physical harm it is only fear that causes harm in dreams – as I say over and over to people, you cannot actually get hurt or die in dreams. And that is an important lesson for you.

teeth There are a great many associations we might have with teeth, so the environment and surrounding events in the dream must be taken as pointers.

As examples we might think of teeth or lack of them as indicating age. You might associate teeth with acute pain, as with toothache or dentistry. Because we lose our teeth while young and grow new one’s, we might also use teeth in a dream to show change from one period of life to another, suggested by such idioms as long in the tooth, milk teeth, etc. In some dreams we dream of a tooth problem indicating infection, even infection in an ear. See: Example under ache.

In general teeth in our dream can depict aggression or defensiveness, as when we bit someone. They can suggest the ability to ‘chew things over’. In some dreams they indicate our ‘bite’ on life, or the ability to get what we want. For instance if we see someone with few or no teeth, it often arouses a feeling that the person has lost their effectiveness in life, their social power – they have ‘lost it’. This may be exactly what we are portraying in losing our own teeth in a dream – the feeling, even temporary, of ‘losing it’. This may be felt as the sense of not being able to get what one deeply wants, and so is experienced as a sort of death, or a loss of self in some degree. But other meanings for tooth loss or falling out are given below.

Teeth can depict words we say or swallow – perhaps things we wish had not come out of our mouth. One of the biggest associations for many of us is how our teeth depict our social appearance – how others see us.

In some cultures the loss of a tooth often depicted the death of a family member. But when we lose a tooth we are very aware of the emptiness in our mouth – very aware of the loss. This is why a lost tooth can link with the loss of a family member. But it can equally apply to what we feel when a relationship ends or ‘goes bad’. The following example shows this. Also see: Example 2 below

I dream the front left tooth on the top of my mouth had fallen out, root and all. I was appalled as I looked at it lying in my hand!! I immediately called my godmother, asking her to bring me a new tooth. While waiting for her, my tongue explored the hole that was left; it hurt, but was beginning to heal. When my godmother arrived, she had forgotten the new tooth, and suggested that we put the old one back in. I was reluctant, as putting the old tooth in would hurt more than letting the hole heal; however, she was very insistent. As we examined the old tooth, I noticed a black spot on the root, and when I poked the decaying spot, it crumbled inwards. Christine.

Christine’s description of the pain connected with the loss of the tooth, her reluctance to have the old one put back in, and the black spot on the tooth, can easily be seen as descriptions of a relationship that needed to be ended, but was nevertheless painful to lose.

Im Tofeeq, a Palestinian woman told me that among the Arabs it is believed that if you dream of losing teeth it means your brother or son is in trouble. She had a dream in which three of her teeth fell out. The next day she received a call from America to say her son had been shot in the head three times by a gunman. For Artemidorus losing a tooth meant to lose a member of one’s household. To Africans such a dream showed that the dreamer would lose a wife or child.

Such feelings about teeth are also reflected in a few dreams of modern Europeans, as in the following example.

Example: My dream of someone’s coming death was so simple, always the same. I would dream that I went to my dressing table and opening my mouth examined my teeth in the mirror. I always found a decayed tooth (I had very fine teeth at that time) which I picked out and laid on the table. If a river of blood flowed from the tooth I knew when I awoke that I would suffer agonies from the coming death; if it did not bleed, I knew the person about to die would be some­one outside my immediate family, but always a relative. If the tooth was a front one the person concerned would be young, if a back tooth it would represent an old person.

My mother told me that a great grandmother of mine had the very same dreams with the same results, but I did not learn this till I was nineteen and my dream foretold the death of a younger sister, who was in perfect health at the time of the dream. I never knew after the dream who was to die as the dream always came well in advance of sickness. I used to think some malign spirit wanted to torment me and took this way to do so.’ Quoted from The Mystery of Dreams by William Oliver Stevens. Published by George Allen and Unwin Ltd, London, 1950.

Bad tooth: A painful or rotten part of one’s feelings, life or relationships; angry or regretful words. It might also of course suggest a problem with that tooth.

Big or small teeth: Big teeth suggest strength, power, ability to harm, depending on dream. Especially in animal dreams it tends to show fear of being hurt or of aggression. Small teeth show the opposite, except that in a few dreams the small teeth belong to a snake or are poisonous in some way, suggesting something or someone putting emotionally damaging feelings in you – perhaps through ‘biting’ remarks.

Canines: The canines are what are left of larger teeth our ancestors used to defend themselves or warn off attackers. So the canine would particularly indicate your ability to defend yourself, or be powerful in the world – particularly for men. Losing a canine or canines might indicate that at times you feel more vulnerable or less confident. This might be accompanied by greater feelings of vulnerability. There might be some painful experience underlying such feelings.

Clenched teeth: This usually show an enormous amount of tension, but we also grit or grind our teeth when holding back great physical or emotional pain or despair.

Dirty teeth: Similar to the poisonous teeth. The dirt suggest there is perhaps some sort of infection or nasty influence that can either go into one’s own body, or be injected by a bite.

Dracula type teeth: Similar to ‘dirty teeth’ or ‘big teeth’. But the Dracula type teeth indicate that you are being injected and thereby influenced by someone else’s subtle drive to control you or poison your feelings or mind. If you have the Dracula teeth, you need to ask yourself if you are trying to negatively influence someone else.

Having teeth attended to: Something that needs attention in your life that you might be putting off or delaying. It might link with pain you feel about something, or even be a bout an actual infection or decay. There might be a link with either your social appearance, your ability to deal with life effectively, or maintaining appearances.

No teeth: If this is an animal dream, it indicates harmlessness. If it refers to yourself or a human, it might also suggest harmlessness, but with the sense of lacking power and your ability to defend yourself, to get what you want from the world in the sense of biting off food, and also of course your social appearance – how you feel others see you. If you imagine yourself with no teeth, what in fact do you feel?

Spitting out lots of teeth: Something you want to ‘spit out’ in the sense of admitting, saying, or expressing something emotionally. But also perhaps the same as teeth falling out.

Swallowing teeth: See the section on ancient cultures in A woman swallowing teeth: above.

Teeth falling out: If all your teeth are falling out it often links with feelings to do with ageing and loss of one’s good looks. Sometimes the feelings are acute enough to link with fear of death, even in young people. But this deals also with the feelings to do with loss of power, loss of ability to express. One dreamer says she dreams this when she feels she is not being understood, or being effective, or feels unable to communicate.

Ann Faraday, in her book Dream Power, says:

At the time of my final marriage break-up, I had recurring dreams of losing teeth, appearing at a rich friend’s house wrapped only in an old blanket, and wandering grey streets full of old shambling figures. I used to awake in the mornings with a dull, heavy feeling if disintegration so that I could hardly get up. It was clear I felt old, unattractive and finished in spite of the fact that I was young and in excellent health.

 Example: ‘I felt a tooth was loose and started pushing it with my tongue. Then I took hold of it between thumb and forefinger and pulled it out. I felt okay about this, but then another tooth was loose, and another, and I pulled them out. Running to the bathroom I looked into the mirror, horrified and frightened. All my teeth were coming out. Not knowing how to deal with this I ran to my mother, showing her my mouth, empty now except for two teeth. My mother appeared not to see my lack of teeth, or notice my fear.’ Eve.

Eve was 18 at the time of the dream. She explored it and found a fear of ageing and death. But this can also depict apprehension about maturing and facing independence and responsibility.

Falling teeth often link with a sense of loss, such as death of family member or loved one; the ageing process as it relates to maturity, so worries about getting older and one’s changing image. When our first teeth fall out at around seven, it is probably our initial experience of losing something from our body, something weird happening – we might even fear other bits of us could drop off or out. After all, if our good strong teeth can do it, why not an ear or an eye? So this experience can be used later in life to depict any worry we may have about our body not being fit, or about feeling the loss of something, or fears of looking peculiar and ageing.

See: Example 2 below.

If crowns falling out or injured: This may relate to a sense of urgency that something has to be attended to.

Tooth being pulled out: Jung felt this dream represents giving birth if dreamt by a woman. In general it probably has associations with loss or painful loss, a difficult parting in a relationship, or loss of something that has been badly influencing your emotional and perhaps even physical health.

Toothless: Loss of effectiveness and or feelings about ageing.

Woman swallowing teeth: The throat and Eustachian tubes have a similar shape to the uterus and fallopian tubes, so can depict conception or fear of it. In ancient cultures, a tooth was extracted and swallowed as part of a death and rebirth symbol. This may have arisen from the observation of losing one’s baby teeth and the growth of new teeth, suggesting the power of renewal. Swallowing teeth might also suggest ‘swallowing one’s words’.

False teeth: Loss of youth and its power and opportunities, as with the ageing process and loss of good looks.

Perhaps suggesting lies told or false appearances. Assumed social power and appearance, or not keeping spoken promises.

Idioms: a sweet tooth; a tooth for a tooth; armed to the teeth; by the skin of one’s teeth; cut my teeth on; fight tooth and nail; get one’s teeth into; gnash one’s teeth; give my eye teeth; grit one’s teeth; long in the tooth; teething troubles; milk teeth; scarce as hen’s teeth; set my teeth on edge; show one’s teeth.

Useful Questions and Hints:

If I am losing teeth, what am I losing or feeling loss about in waking?

Am I meeting anything to do with my social appearance or self image?

Does something need attending to in my life?

What is coming out of my mouth in conversations – or what am I swallowing and not expressing?

testicles This depicts the male sexual ability and fertility. So loss of testicles, small testicles, would suggest loss of, or anxiety, about being capable sexually with a woman, or in a woman’s dream a sense that the man is not potent. So they represent virility in the sense of male confidence, strength and energy. See: penis above.

But testicles can also denote vulnerability, as when one is kicked there. They can also occasionally depict a source of energy and power, the testicles being a source of energetic influence, the hormone’s they produce shapes the body, and they also act as a sense organ. See: parts of body; levels of awareness.

A woman’s dream: Her feelings about sex with a male; feelings about wanting to conceive, or wanting the man deep in herself. Testicles in a woman’s dream might also indicate her relationship with this very genital level of sex. I would show what she is doing with her feelings and responses to a male or the male in herself.

If the woman dreams she has testicles, it suggests her becoming more aware of her own male aspect. See: animus; vagina below; penis above.

In a man’s dream: What he is doing with his sexual urge; his battery of energy and self worth or his sense of maleness.

The testicles in the male dream also suggest the life process existing in him beyond or underlying his personality. In other words his body has emerged from an incredibly long line of sex cells. In this sense his body is a budding out of sex cells that have always been alive, and so physically his body is infinitely old. But of course it will only continue its existence if it procreates. The testicles also link the male with his genetic connection with ancestors. The Y chromosome in male DNA holds 23 million base pairs euchromatin. This Y chromosome in each male holds in it markers showing his ancestral history back to the beginning of human development – 300 million years in fact. Because the Y chromosome changes relatively slowly over time and is only passed along the direct male line, it may be used to trace paternal lineage. For instance because of this slow change when changes occur it leaves markers in the y-chromosome. These markers indicate the lineage of the male. As an example of this, international geneticists have discovered that Genghis Khan was more than a great warrior, collected data has shown that nearly 8 percent of the men living in the region of the former Mongol empire carry y-chromosomes that are nearly identical. That translates to 0.5 percent of the male population in the world, or roughly 16 million descendants living today are descendents of Genghis Khan. See: Genghis Khan – A Prolific Lover.

Useful Questions and Hints:

In a male dream – what is being suggested here by the testicles in my dream – is it to do with my sense of maleness or my ancestral connections?

In a female dream – are the testicles indicating me relationship with a man, or with my own internal male?

Am I experiencing the testes as a sense organ – if so what am I aware of or gaining insight into?

If I imagine myself with and then without the testes in the dream, what is the difference? (For help doing this see Stand in Role under peer dream work.)

tongue This obviously relates to speech, and the capability of expression of what we feel. It enables us to articulate what is deep inside us, perhaps unknown to oneself. So dreaming of the tongue being cut out shows real feelings of being mute and not able to express clearly.

But the tongue and mouth are our first organs of gaining our needs and relating to the world and other people. The baby doesn’t just suck to gain milk, its tongue has wave like – peristaltic – movements that take the milk right down into the stomach. Kissing is therefore at least in part a return to this basic level of relationship and gaining needs, pleasure and contact with another being. If there are signs of this in the dream then it is reflecting ease or difficulty with that infant level of relatedness. The tongue can here be an expression of desire – of ‘I want’.

Because of the way the tongue and mouth are sometimes used in oral sex, the tongue can depict the penis, or at least, the drive to penetrate or to make contact through that sensitive organ. Another side to this is that we can express a lot of care and love through the tongue, as when a mother animal licks its child, so can express healing. But the tongue in all mammals is a way love and care is given, and so kissing is probably a return to this.

Idioms: bite your tongue; cat got your tongue; find one’s tongue; forked tongue; hold your tongue; lose one’s tongue; on the tip of one’s tongue; roll off the tongue; sharp tongue; silver tongued; slip of the tongue; tongue hanging out; tongue in cheek; tongue lashing; tongue tied.

 Useful Questions and Hints:

Do any of the idioms relate to my dream – if so what does it indicate?

Is this a dream about hunger or thirst for something, if so what am I hungering or thirsting for?

Is there something I am trying to say or saying/singing really well – if so how does that relate to my waking life?

umbilical cord This is particularly about your earliest dependence upon your mother or carer. It also relates directly to your skill or difficulty in moving toward independence. So in many dreams it would illustrate your connection and emotional ties of dependence or need with other people – or how you are moving toward independence.

 Example: I was looking at my belly button. There was a good three inches of cord sticking out. The end of it was red and raw. Cassie A.

Cassie had been in a long dependent relationship which she had recently broken. She felt at the time of the dream she was having to stand alone and do things for herself. The end of her relationship felt like a ripping apart, and thus the sore cord.

See: navel; navel under body. Particularly read the piece under active imagination about the umbilical connection loss.

 Useful Questions and Hints:

Does this dream bring any awareness of my deep dependent need for a flow of life and love?

Is this illustrating move growth toward independence – if so how am I achieving it?

Does relationship enter into this dream, or does it link with relationship?

vagina The vagina refers to much more than a woman’s sexual feelings and drives. It depicts the urges and processes that are the foundations of her waking personality. It deals with her ability to procreate, not only in regard to children, but also in her bringing things to life or reality in work and other people’s lives. The vagina can associate with her unique glandular bias which underlies the energy or lethargy or her drives, emotions and mind. It is this bias that helps or hinders her with what she faces in emotional, mental and physical expression. It gives, in whatever degree, the caring, nurturing feelings which emerge out of sexual mating when healthy.

The vagina in a woman’s dream also might indicate her desire for a mate; the sense of connection and identity with other women, other female creatures and female aspects of nature. In its positive aspect it may represent the sure confidence with which a woman may demand from her man that he treat her womanhood with the respect it deserves. This means expressing the full flood of her sexual need with its desire for a child, a caring and supportive nest to rear that child in, and her female creativity which may rise from that basic reproductive drive into social creativity and personal demand for respect. It means she will confront her man with this and expect him to meet it with his own masculine power.

If the dream is directly about the uterus, this suggests an immediate connection with the ability to reproduce in some way, with pregnancy, with nurturing a child. See: ovaries/uterus under body.

There is another important possibility when the idea or image of the vagina is used. There is a secret and beautiful aspect to the vagina that is not often mentioned. It is that deep down, every women knows that she is very special and even unique. This wonderful secret treasure women offer when they really love. They come to love with the expectancy, maybe not even very conscious, of having this wonder in them, this treasure, recognised and honoured.

Unfortunately the woman may identify with this wonder as a person, and that could be a mistake. The treasure, the unique and wonderful riches she has are her eggs. Within her are the living accumulation of millions of years of life experience. Nobody else carries exactly the eggs that she does. These eggs are beyond imagining in their wonder and history, in the information, lives, secrets they hold. This is the treasure a woman offers to her lover. If she believes her own personality is this treasure it might lead to over inflation of her self image. But also of course, it will lead to the terrible despair that often follows human love. Betrayal of the trust may follow. But her eggs are for her to honour and treasure. They are for her to recognise and know what a great wealth she carries within her. So in some dreams the vagina is an image of this sense the woman has of her own unique wealth.

In a woman’s dream: Generally how you feels about your own sexual needs, but this includes procreation as well. It links with the health or feeling state of your sexual self and physical vagina, as well as your experience of motherhood or experience of the procreative relationship with your mother and nature.

As such it depicts your central femininity, your sexual urge and your ability or inability to have a child. It might be used in your dream to show what you feel about your physical attraction. And in some dreams it is shown as the reality underlying the temple or church of life. Temples and churches are in fact just symbols of the creative reality of the vagina and the holy sexual mystery of life.

Bleeding vagina: This might indicate your fears about sexuality and femininity, or hurts to your emotions connected with sexual relatedness.

In man’s dreams: The vagina represents your feelings or fears about meeting a woman’s full sexuality, as well as the deep experience of the relationship with your mother, and all the issues of dependence, fear, love or anger that still exist in you from your childhood. It also connects with your experience of birth, and how your mother met your emerging male sexuality. The vagina is the holy grail of your desire for sexual expression.

Bleeding vagina in a male dream: Your trauma, fears, hurts about your sexual and emotional ability to relate to a woman sexually, socially and emotionally.

 Example: ‘She was now quite naked, dead and stiff, but still bleeding from the vagina. I walked along, the dead body walked like a clockwork soldier. It was quite horrible to see its semblance to life.’ Derek A.

Derek’s relationship with a woman, and with his own emotions and sexuality is ‘dead’ and deeply hurt – the blood. He can mechanically have sex – the clockwork soldier – but not with deep feeling bonds or satisfaction.

 Exple: ‘He was very brown, could have been a native but he didn’t feel strange to me. We were having sex, I was very aware of the pleasure in my lower body. It was very slippy slidy and wet, there was enjoyment for both of us. Very intense body feelings with a childlike quality, not passion – but pleasure and joy in my vagina.’ Susy I.

Susy is feeling happy and joyful about her ‘native’ or natural sexual feelings – particularly the sensual side of sex. Sensual pleasure, as with emotional pleasure, is as much a food for our physical and emotional self, as bread is for our physical body.

 Example: ‘I had very little pubic hair and thought it must be because I had just had a shower, but, no, on looking again I had very little hair. I was hugging Mary, a friend, my arms around her back and one hand holding her vagina. It was then I noticed she was the shape of a man there. I drew away for a second at the discovery then felt OK as it meant I was hugging a male/female person. We were very warm together. Two days before this dream my husband had said his mother called a vagina a MARY.’ Lucy R.

Lucy is ‘touching’ or becoming aware of what could be seen as her own wholeness, which includes her male nature.

Useful Questions and Hints:

In a female dream – what is the central thing this dream is presenting to me – is it about the way I feel about sex, about residues of my father’s influence in my life, or about my female power?

In a male dream – does my dream in any way indicate my fears or strengths in my relationship with a woman – or is it about residues of my mother’s influence?

What are the main or even the suggested feelings or emotions shown in the dream, and what place do they have in my waking life?

 womb See: ovaries/uterus; vagina.

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Comments

-Christoffer 2017-01-16 8:36:35

Hi Tony,

I have a dream that I find complicated and have trouble interpreting – even with your extensive dictionary. I understand most of it, but have trouble understanding an out of body experience in it. I hope you can help me with this.

I dream of being hunted by robots in a huge corporation. They hunt all of us humans, me and others I know of, and attack and paralyze us. However, we join forces and fight back. The robots become aware of this. I receive an antidote, given from scientists, and tries to escape from this place that the robots and me are in. I meet my father here, in the headquarters of the robots. He becomes paralyzed when we try to flee. They have poisoned him.
What happens now though is that I, in the dream, experiences an out of body experience. I become split. The mind, my thoughts, thinks of leaving my father. I see no alternatives, no solution, but I also am coloured with some bitterness that I hold to my father today, painfully thinking “what’s it to me?/is it worth it?”. I watch myself from an outside of me, autonomously and physically drag my father, while thinking these thoughts, afraid of the robots. – We are hunted a while, but later on find a hiding spot where we avoid the robots for now.

I understand most of it, the robots and the freezing part, but becoming split in the dream, the body and my mind, I find more complex. Is it a instinctive/intuitive part vs a mind/intellect as in real life, or is it more to it? Experiencing this in a dream complicates things I feel, of which I would very much appreciate your thoughts on. I hope you can help me with this.

Best regards and appreciation of this wonderful dictionary of yours and help.
Sincerely/
Christoffer

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