What follows is a script written as input for the radio show. What went out live on-air differs from this as there are interjections, questions and answers, dreams analyzed as part of the piece and other significant deviations. You can listen to the original audio here.
Have you ever wondered when your dream is set. What point in your life is the dream referencing? Is it talking about your past, predicting your future or commenting on your present? While the timeline is not immediately obvious to our waking mind after we exit the dream state, it is still very easy to glean from the dream.
Knowing the point in life that a dream is referencing is very important to a dream analyst, indeed any therapist, as it accurately timelines the events connected to the subject matter in question. If a dream shows you first pushed people away at age 3 because mom didn’t know how to show unconditional love, we have struck gold in terms of knowing the root cause and therefore ideal ways to heal that trauma. The impact of this in your life today will be shown separately in the dream but by connecting the two your dream gives the key to resolving today’s issue.
Knowing the events and timeline are hugely significant for dealing with traumas but dreams also predict how a specific choice, if made today, will bring happiness. I tend to focus on root causes of problems because of the work I do with clients.
Let’s take a scenario. Say your higher self wants to heal you of an issue that happened at age 7. It cannot just place a 1972 calendar on the wall. It’s just not how it works. That’s our language! The dreamscape is a living canvas constantly being repainted. The date on the calendar would change if you looked at it twice.
So here are some of the methods that work. A dream can indicate age 7 by it taking place on the 7th floor of a building. Actually it doesn’t even need to take place on the 7th floor. The 7th floor can just feature in the dream. For instance, trying to cross a busy street while aware someone is watching you from the 7th floor of the building behind you. The 7th floor is the dream commenting on the 7th year in the story of your life with the pun on storey being intended. This is sufficient to tell us to relate everything else in the dream to this time in your life. In this example the dream tells us that a current career step is impacted by something you witnessed at age 7. Knowing the age tells us a lot as you, the dreamer, already know the events that happened at that age. Perhaps your parents separated, maybe you moved to a new city and lost your best friend. The point is, from the context provided by the dream, we know what we need to look at.
Seven children playing, or not playing, just being there in the dream is another technique to indicate age 7. The children bring it back to your childhood and the number of children focus the lens of the dream. If there were a group of 3 children and another group of 4 we don’t add them. This focuses the dream on your childhood from age 3 to age 4. Typically the children are behind you or to your left as both locations indicate the past (actually I’ll come back to the left). Behind you always indicates the past in a dream. Think of the expression, “You need to put that behind you” and the meaning is clear. Last week we talked about running from things behind you. Now it is clearer why we can say those dreams are about issues in your past. If we want to be pedantic we can say that a dream rarely highlights an issue in the past. You can only live in the present so it is an issue in the present triggered by something that happened in your past. If the issue was truly in your past, meaning you’ve gotten over it, you wouldn’t be having the dream about it NOW. The dream’s placement of the issue behind you attempts to get you to let go of it and leave it in the past where it belongs. Sometimes easier said than done!
If behind you is the past then in front of you is the future. This is a really important one to look for as it tells you whether you have time to do something about the subject matter of the dream. Driving your car and seeing an accident ahead in the distance warns that you are heading towards a crash with regard to the subject matter of the dream. Coming across an accident around the corner means the same thing. It is still in your future. Again we have expressions that match the meaning in dreams. You know what I mean if I ask, “What’s on the road ahead for you?” or if I say, “Keep your chin up, you never know what’s around the corner!” You know they both refer to your future. You also know it in your dreams. Incidentally, a crash in a dream simply means something is going to go wrong. It doesn’t literally mean a crash.
Something immediately ahead of you is something you’re being asked to deal with right now. For instance, to dream of an angry man blocking your path tells you that dealing with anger issues around dad is necessary NOW for you to move forward in life.
Your left in a dream can indicate your female aspect but it can also indicate the past. We all have good and bad traits but rarely see our own. For this reason dreams often place people on your left who exhibit similar traits to the ones that hold you back. The request being for you to eliminate these traits. Literally put those traits in your past. Likewise people with traits you’re being asked to adopt can be placed to your right – the right, in this case, indicates your future, including immediate future.
Left and right are kind of an advanced topic in dreams. If the left is the past and the right is the future then making a right turn at a T junction in your dream is a good thing. It is you making a choice that aligns with your future by going to the right. Taking a left at the same point would alert you that something you’re doing is taking you backwards in life because you’re symbolically heading into your past. That’s very straight forward but assumes, like most people, you’re living life on the karmic path.
Let’s leave left and right alone and look for some other easier timeline references in dreams. An old world setting such as a castle goes right back in your timeline – past your entrance into this life and into a previous incarnation. Didn’t expect that did you? Here, your higher-self is showing you the issue or the spiritual gift that you need to work on actually comes from a different life time. Each of our incarnations is designed to eliminate baggage to allow more light. Sometimes the work we started in one lifetime is not complete and continues in this one.
Far more common in dreams is to show birth in this lifetime. This timeline is shown by so many symbols I couldn’t cover them all here. We’ve had some before: an airplane landing indicates birth. An airplane crashing can indicate a traumatic birth. A ship berthing in a harbour indicates your birth (with the pun intended). Movement from a high location to a low one can indicate moving from the spirit world to the physical and therefore birth. An example is dreaming of going to the ground floor in an elevator. How people react to you when you step off the elevator is indicative of how mom and dad reacted to your arrival.
Arriving on a train platform is also about birth – you’ve just arrived and are now ready to start your journey. A dream that takes place on a train, especially if you use the word carriage, is also about being in the womb. Entering a house or building is about you entering the womb. Exiting the building is your birth. Literally this shows you coming into the physical. Frequently in dreams about birth you find you have almost no strength to get through the door or window when exiting. Often times the door is missing from the door frame in these dreams.
Let’s finish with one of the easiest methods for determining the timeline of your dream. Dreaming of a child who is a particular age is a very common method for setting the time frame in your dream. If you dream of your two year old son the dream is focusing on your male aspect (because the child is a boy) and showing that your male aspect is affected today by something that happened at age 2. So whatever age the child is in your dream – that’s the age you’re being brought back to. Whatever gender they are tells you the aspect you’re to look at.
In closing I need to point out that I’ve repeatedly said the dream brings you back to age X years because that’s most often the intention of the dream. But if you dream of 3 girls the dream could also be bringing you to age 3 months. Dreams exaggerate – so this is common. For instance, if you nearly drowned at age 10 you could dream of a 100 foot tidal wave sweeping towards your house. When you see large numbers like this just knock off a zero and accept it is there to show how impactful the event was at the remaining age.
Heidi: Okay, you can’t just leave that karmic path reference hanging there. Is the left not always the past? And the right not always the future?
Michael: Here’s how it works. The future in dreams is indicated by choices that align with your path. Most of us are living life on the karmic path. The karmic path is male energy. The right side in a dream is also male. So turning right in a dream while on the karmic path is you aligning with your path. Turning left is you moving out of alignment with your path. It’s probably safer to say right indicates the best way to go forward in life and the left indicates you going backwards.
That reverses when on the Dharmic path because the Dharmic path is governed by female energy. It’s like you just went beyond the speed of sound and the controls reverse. Turning left aligns with your path so indicates the correct choice for your future and turning right moves you out of alignment so indicates a wrong choice or you going backwards.