Shapes and Symbols

These are a visual presentation of our own internal or psychological structure. Because the mind and emotions in some ways appear so abstract, it is difficult to have a clear image of our differences compared with other people; or to see changes which occur through maturing. Shapes, symbols and patterns give us a clear image of our inner world. See example in spiral below; Inner World.

Centre or middle: Emphasises the importance of the thing, person or animal in that position. It can indicate conflict where the middle is between opposites or obstruction when something might be in the middle of the road, corridor, etc. Or it could be feelings of being involved, when in the middle of a crowd for instance.

When something is in the middle of a circle or square can represent contact or awareness of you core self or Spirit.

If it is a centre such as a garden or educational center: Use things like Easy Dream Undestanding to define the dream and its meaning.

If you are in the middle of something such as an exam or love making: Use things like Easy Dream Understanding and Talking As

Idioms: Middle of the road; piggy in the middle; centre of attention.

Useful Questions and Hints:

What does the middle or centre mean to you?

What is this the center of? Use Talking As to define.

Does this represent the unchanging core of myself, beyond thoughts and feelings?

Am I tapping into the unseen power behind my life?

See Acting on your dream and Easy Dream Understanding

Circle or round: Yourself; personal identity; wholeness; it suggests a good harmony between all the aspects of your being – thus a feeling of pleasure, centeredness and openness, physical, mental and spiritual; may be used to depict the Self; eternity; female sexuality; ‘the same dull round’ of routine suggested by Blake, in which one might be trapped if there is no alternative; if the circle is irregular, suggests imbalance or lack of harmony. See: ring.

The crescent is also a sign connectedwith Islam.

Crescent: Femininity; the vagina; the process of feminine creativity.

The significance of the changing pattern of dreaming during the menstrual cycle has not been appreciated by either women or men. Just as the moon goes through phases when it appears to be full and bright but gradually diminishes to a narrow crescent shape only to return again to its state of illuminated wholeness, so too does a woman manifest a waxing and waning of various personality traits during her lunar-cycle dreams. The crescent shape in dreams sometimes depicts a woman’s sexuality and openness to mating; receptiveness.

Jo Jean Boushahla in the book Dream Dictionary says ‘A new moon or a crescent moon show a time of feeling at one with our internal spiritual self. It is a time for deep inner reflection’.

Crescent moon: The beginning or ending of something to do with ones feelings or inner life.

Example: One morning I was allowed to go with my mother to the baker’s shop and there I received a crescent roll from the baker’s wife. I did not eat the roll but carried it proudly in my hand. Only my mother and the baker’s wife were present, so I was the only man.”  Such crescents are popularly called “moon-teeth,” and this symbolic allusion to the moon underlines the dominating power of the feminine-a power to which the little boy may have felt exposed and which, as the “only man,” he was proud of being able to confront. Quoted from Man and His Symbols by Carl Jung.

Idioms: Go round in circles; come full circle; vicious circle; circle of influence/friends.

Useful Questions and Hints:

What were my feelings in the dream with the crescent?

What associations do I have with a crescent shape?

As I think about the dreamt of crescent what images or thoughts occur?

Cross: Difficulties or tribulations we carry, perhaps unnecessarily; human life and its whole spectrum of experience, physical, sexual, mental emotional, cosmic – painful and delightful; wrongness as with tick being correct, cross being wrong or forbidden; completion as when crossed off list; the body, upon which consciousness is nailed or fixed during life.

If cross upright as + : Being upright; correct; self assertion; balanced.

If cross as X : The four extremities; reaching out; crossing out. Like the square, it can also represent wholeness, solidity, especially if the arms are equal length. See: crossing.

Diamond: Choices or direction, like the compass needle.

Line: Distance; movement; movement in space or time; a dividing force, or a division such as a boundary. This is expressed in the phrases ‘At this point I draw the line’ – ‘This is the bottom line’. If there is a suggestion of this in the dream, someone drawing a line for instance, then it suggests their decisiveness, or their boundary. Tangled line: Changes and decisions in life; indecision or confusion. Zigzag line: Movement; change; the basic pleasure or achievement of leaving ones mark.

Mandala: This is any circle or square within which shapes, objects or other symbols appear. The mandala can be a square garden with round pond in it – square with circle in, etc. It depicts what we have done with our life, what qualities or balance we have achieved through our own effort or self responsibility. It shows whether we have dared meet the darkness and light in our nature and bring balance; whether we have found the courage to have our boundaries of thought and viewpoint split asunder by a greater vision or despair, and what we have done with the pieces of wonder and pain we have found. If The mandala often appears as a form of compensation also. In this sense it is a spontaneous attempt at bring order and integration at times when our mental and emotional life may be very shattered and disconnected. See: compensation theory; spiral below; mandala; yoga and dreams.

Oblong: An area of our experience – might be sex, mind, etc.; boundaries of our awareness or what we dare let ourselves experience; physical reality; oneself contained within the boundaries of our experience and social and personal constraints.

Octagon: Because 8 is deeply symbolical the octagon is found in baptisteries as a symbol representing eternal life and also renewal. It can also indicate the interplay between earth and heaven. It also represents the future state we can move to or grow into. So it is like an ascending spiral which returns to the same position but in a higher form – like an ascending an actave.

The eighth step on the stairway Mohammed took ascending to heaven was a sea of angels.

Patterns Concepts or realisations, are made up of inter-blending pieces of information and experience; the order or chaos of our inner world of thoughts and feelings; the patterns we live by, such as habits, and beliefs; insight into the cycles or patterns underlying human and animal life; the actual patterns of ones pulse and breathing – these may be represented by patterns of dots for the pulse, or wavy or short lines may represent breathing.

Round: See: circle round above.

Shapeshifter: The shape shifter is the part of you that has lived through every experience from conception through to where you are at the moment. It doesn’t have a face or even a recognisable shape because it can be any age and in fact anything. What part it plays in your dream is that it says, “Do not get lost in being just one shape, just one age, just being the body, because I am a shape shifter.” See ShapeShifter

Sphere or ball: Wholeness; your whole being – body, soul and spirit; eternity; female sexuality an ‘all round’ view or a rounded character.

Ball: Interaction between two people, sexual and otherwise – the ‘ball’ is in your court – in that throwing the ball may show someone trying to get ones attention and response.

Ball games or being thrown a ball: Challenges, prowess, competition in the game of life; having and letting go; sex play; masturbation; a man’s ‘balls’; wholeness.

Idioms: Have a ball; ball at ones feet; ones eye on the ball; start the ball rolling; new ball game; play ball with someone; he has/hasn’t the balls. See: the self under archetypes; games.

Spiral: Things we repeat over and over like habits; movement towards greater awareness or insight.

Example: ‘We walk around, go upstairs, and I notice a staircase leading to a room or rooms. The stairs are painted in the green too, and they go up square, about eight steps in a flight, but round and round – spiral. I am scared by them, don’t want to go up, but am curious. We move in and nobody but myself has really taken any notice of the stairs. Nobody has been up. Half way up I can see there is a glass roof, the wooden frames painted green. I am terrified but have to go on. Then I wake. Next dream I got up there. It smelt very musty. Lots of draw sheets covering things. I bent to lift a sheet. It was raining. I could hear it thrashing on the glass. Then I woke.’ Ann H.

In this example we have the spiral and the square combined in the stairs. In this way the dream manages to combine many different ideas such as climbing to the unknown, spiralling or circling something, and the squareness or down to earth nature of what is being discovered. There are things we have learned, yet not realised consciously. Like a jigsaw puzzle, we have all the pieces, and we sense the connection, but we have never formed it into a conscious thought or verbal idea. It therefore remains as a feeling sense or hunch, but not a rational idea. Ann is spiralling toward, or circling around such a realisation. She is frightened because it may be difficult – one may realise that all the years of marriage, for example, point to having been used as a door-mat.

Square: Down to earth; reality; the physical experience; stability; the materialising of an idea, feeling or plan.

Leonardo Da Vinci’s diagram of the man in the circle within the square represents a complete balance of the various aspects of human nature – as he may have achieved himself. See: mandala above; mandala.

A circle within a square can indicate the human instinctive search to find balance or harmony between our physical experience and our spiritual nature.

Star: Aspiration; the spiritual aspect of self. Six pointed: Personal harmony between physical, mental and spiritual. Five pointed star: Ones body, oneself and ones sensed kinship with all life. 

Triangle: Oneself being capable of ‘standing’; the three major aspects of human nature – body, personal experience, and impersonal consciousness; similar to the number three – See: Three.

The triangle with point upwards: Depicts the physical aspects of human nature moving toward the personal or conscious.

Triangle with point downwards: The areas of consciousness moving toward physical expression.

Triangles linked in Star of David: Complete balance in human nature.

Sometimes: The points of the triangle are used to represent three stages of human development of awareness. The first is undifferentiated or preconscious stage. Two the sense of individuality, feeling ‘otherness’ in regard to the world. Three is the relationship of the self to the ‘other’ in people and the world.


-Dana Caswell 2017-10-23 16:36:06

I recently shook hands with my sisters new BF and as soon as my hand touched his I vividly saw a skull opening and shutting his mouth not saying words but there where types words coming out of his mouth that read “Satan is here.. Elohim is gone.. then a symbol, it was a circle with a black dot in the middle and a wavy line through it. I drew the symbol and asked if it meant anything to him. He said yes. It was a Free Mason symbol with a lightening bolt through it. But that is not what I picked up on. It’s been all I’ve been thinking about and I believe once I understand this meaning I’d stop trying to figure it out.

-Loata 2016-11-06 11:11:44

I dreamt of seeing my friend(male) having a black outlined star on his head. He was pushing a baby tram and along were his mother and youngest child and some other people they were walking with. I was behind them talking to someone and I pointed to my friend(male) and told the one I was with that this is the man I love. Can you please help explain what it all means especially the star on the head.

-Russell Christian 2016-02-24 19:59:40

Last night I was awakened by my fiancé, who had thought that I must be having some sort of crazy nightmare. I was flinging my arms and had been moaning oddly and making sounds she says she had never heard me make before. But I was having no nightmare. The following is what was happening in my “dream” up to the point that she woke me:

I found myself in an ancient place, seemingly untouched for thousands of years. There were walkways evident, although they too looked untouched by the feet of travelers for thousands of years as well. The atmosphere of this “dream” was dimly lit, like right before dark, and the air was thick, and for some reason I had the hint that nothing had breathed this air in many years as well. The walkway that I spoke of had what seemed to be a stone center line (with no sections, like it was all one long piece that went for miles) about 12 inches wide and had strange markings on it ever so often that I did not recognize, and each would illuminate for just a second as I passed or stepped on them, then the light would disappear. After following the path for some time, through a lush wilderness the likes I have never seen, unkept and untouched by man, I found myself at the opening of what only could be felt as a temple of some sort. It seemed as though it was an ancient place, that’s all I can say. As I entered the “temple,” a stone doorway closed abruptly behind me, and I ran. I ran and followed the path with the symbol on it. The same stone path with no breaks that led me to the temple. Each symbol etched into the stone lighting up as I passed over them. I ran, for what seemed like at least a mile through this maze of stone and what seemed to be some sort of furniture or altars, I’m not really sure. None of it looked as though it was earthly, although everything about this place suggested without a doubt that it was done by intelligent design. I kept following this path, and it took me through many turns and entryways through this “temple.” After what seemed like an hour, I remember taking a sharp left through an opening and was again on the outside in the strange overgrown remnants of what seemed to be an ancient courtyard. I walked along the edge of the ancient structure, for only a few minutes, taking in the sights of the strange foliage as I walked. Only to take another left around the corner and be right back where I started. This being strange due to the fact that I had been running straight through most of the interior of the structure, only to have taken a hard left at the very end of what seemed to be an hour of traveling the interior, and then to be outside of it for only a few minutes in the other direction. And this is where it gets really strange. As I turn around, astonished that I was right back where I started, I seen myself come around the same corner. It was me. And right as I was about to say something to my “other self,” that’s when she woke me. This is the end of the first “dream.” When I woke I was out of breath as if I had actually been running. That was a first for me. And another first really, was that I at least seemed to be in control of what I was doing in this dream. Consciously making decisions about the path I took and whether or not to fray from the stone centerline that was guiding me.

I spoke of this to Amy (my fiancé), who has always been into earth magic and I have heard her speak of astral travel and such things before, never really giving it too much

thought. I have never been a very spiritual person, in fact I consider myself to be an atheist. But as I described this to her, she said something to the effect of going back into the dream after returning to sleep. So I sat there, took a few puffs off my e-cig, and laid back down, deeply thinking about what I had just experienced in the previous dream. I found myself back asleep, but again, feeling as though I was in control of myself. But I was no longer at the ancient temple I described before. The atmosphere and the foliage was very similar, with the exception being that the layout of the land exactly matched the land that my house and my grandmother’s house sits today. Only our houses weren’t there, and the land showed no signs of having any structures for a very long time. I found myself in charge of an elaborate “study” of the land, with many people around me digging and researching the area. I’m not sure what for. This is a strange point, because at some point there was what seemed to be a ladder of light, not ascending, but spiraling through the air sort of what a strand of DNA looks like in a diagram. Slightly rising into the atmosphere at points. It was glowing and flickering all over, but more so at the very beginning of it. And at the tip of this spiraling “ladder,” was what I take to be an energy form of myself. This time I did speak to it, and what I said was something to the effect of “I understand what you are doing now, for I have been exactly where you are,” floating through the atmosphere on the spiraling ladder. And as I was saying this, I felt it. I felt the memory of it, and the sensation that radiated through my entire body. Weightless and floating, as if on the return from the “ancient temple” from the previous dream. That’s the best that I can describe it.

After waking from this section of what all seemed to be two very connected dreams, I had to get ready for work. So I did, and woke the kids, they got ready and we left. Since I’ve awoken from this second “dream,” I still feel as though I’m a little out of breath, even as I’m writing this several hours later. I feel a little shaky and odd, and I’m noticing that simple tasks seem to be throwing me off a bit. I am hesitating at simple math. I’m finding it hard to concentrate on anything other than the thoughts about these dreams. It’s like there is a fog in my mind. I feel as though I have actually experienced something, although what I have no idea. I can tell you that nothing about my daily routine was out of the ordinary yesterday, and that this just really came out of nowhere. I have took a moment to recreate the symbol that I saw on the centerline stonework from the first dream on paper, as exact as I could remember it. And I am going to look into this and see if I can find anything about it as well. This whole thing has thrown me off my center a bit, unlike anything I’ve really ever felt. Although I have experienced something similar years ago, which I did awaken and write down as well, and even wrote a poem, which I still have, about it. It was futuristic, although for some reason I felt that the universe was so old that even time had become unstable. It would flash forward, then backward a couple weeks and so forth. There were strange objects in the sky all around, but not moving, and civilization had seemingly collapsed. There were other people, but they seemed primitive and were in hiding. There were evidence of structures and roadways, but all had been unkept for many, many years, perhaps thousands. More like ruins really. After awaking from this dream, I didn’t feel right for about three days. I could not shake the feeling that I had seen something that I shouldn’t have seen. That’s the only way I could describe it. Being someone who has never been into anything spiritual or whatever at all, this has really got me puzzled. I’m writing all of this to try to see if anyone else has had anything remotely similar to this, and maybe, just maybe get some kind of insight as to what is the deal. The symbol I seen, well, one of many, was a diagonal wavy line, curved left at the top with a different orientation of dots of some kind on each side of it.

    -Anna - Tony's Assistant 2016-02-29 13:41:25

    Dear Russell Christian – I believe that your dream reflects a wonderful inner journey into and beyond your personal unconscious mind where you become aware of contents that reflect to you that “for some reason I had the hint that nothing had breathed this air in many years as well.”
    See also
    “The deal” as I see it is that you can find the perseverance and the patience to explore what it means to YOU – one step at a time – and to trust that “in time” you will receive your own insights from your unconscious mind and beyond; “I found myself in charge of an elaborate “study” of the land, with many people around me digging and researching the area.”
    You also wrote; “I’m finding it hard to concentrate on anything other than the thoughts about these dreams. It’s like there is a fog in my mind” may refer to your impatience and a need to learn to deal with “the clouds of unknowing”.
    But because you also wrote – “I feel a little shaky and odd, and I’m noticing that simple tasks seem to be throwing me off a bit”– you might want to make sure that your “mind fog” (mental fog) is not also caused by any physical condition.
    When you have returned to your centre and feel grounded again, you could use to explore your dreams.
    You wrote “I’m writing all of this to try to see if anyone else has had anything remotely similar to this, and maybe, just maybe get some kind of insight as to what is the deal.”
    If it helps you to feel more at ease with your dreams and what you experienced; I have had experiences of being energy and bodiless awareness in my waking life, though not in my dreams. I have experienced the “sensation that radiated through my entire body” while doing my inner work.
    Because what I call my “energy body” is familiar to me, I feel very okay with these experiences.
    Abstract forms may reflect feelings you meet that are still difficult to define, or even recognise.
    With this in mind it is also good to remember that a dream is something that comes from a deep part of you; it is something that is working upwards toward being conscious. As such it often, like a seed, takes time to break through to the surface, and then it has to grow. So dreams are often not recognised for their full meaning until later – sometimes months or even longer. The dream images are attempts to communicate something that has probably never been thought about or even been consciously thought about, so has never been put into common conscious thinking before. It is a communication from the depths, from beyond thought, and so any interpretations that are given by thinking may completely miss the point.
    But the source of the dream, which is a process of Life, is intelligent in its own way, and will take part in any attempt to communicate. So exploring your dreams by entering into their imagery and attempting to understand them will be a two way process.
    Anna 🙂

-Ezra 2015-11-25 6:34:07

In my dream, I was in a medieval time period with a strange symbol on my hand. It was a trinagle with a circle in it with grey data running across it. Whenever I would stiffen my fingers, ice would appear on them. When I swipe my hand in the air, ice shard would fly in the air like bullets. I was in an archery range practicing this. My master/teacher beckoned me to him and the dream shifted to a castle tower that was my room. My master and some sort of giant serpent were conversing, thinking I was asleep. The serpent wanted to kill and my master denied.

-Jeff Popp 2015-02-25 16:24:48

So I went to sleep last night praying to God that I was sorry for all that I have done and asked that He would forgive me, I know the Bible says He will. I know this because He sent His one and only son to die for the world, a perfect man whom had never sinned. I do not know your religious background Tony but I do want to ask you this, do you have an idea of what a diagonal 8 with a square on the outside symbolizes? I dreamt last night tht I was in a church and that I was spreading the symbol around saying that this is a symbol from God that He is here and that He will love us no matter what. Sorry for a post on an old article but I feel like I just need to know what this means.

-tunde 2014-09-18 3:29:38

I dreamt that I saw some people betting on dice and I enter into the game and also bet even stake high to the extend of having little money left on me eventually I won all the money I bet at once I everybody left the spot of the game including me so,wat does this mean am I going to loose in the real world or what?

Copyright © 1999-2010 Tony Crisp | All rights reserved