Niamh Clune

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DreamWeaver’s Corner: Interpreting Dream Images by Dr. Niamh Clune

A dream is often a window to the soul; shouldn’t we try then to glimpse through into understanding? Understanding dream language isn’t easy – dreams often speak in bizarre, paradoxical, ridiculous, tortuous, impossible symbolism. So, how do we learn this fascinating language?Totem_Pole_Carving

All language is based on symbols. However, in dream language, a symbol must yield its meaning. Meaning is not something that can be gleaned through a superficial reading of someone else’s study or by rote learning – which may be helpful as a map, but doesn’t define the country. Dream symbols are unique to the dreamer and depend on culture, nationality, creed, upbringing and personal appraisal of intervening events. For example, dreaming of a totem pole will not have the same meaning to you or I as it might have to a native American.

Unravelling a dream’s meaning involves indwelling each symbol – literally, meditating on it, entering inside it and asking the symbol what it means. Approaching dream symbolism armed with philosophical or intellectual questioning has the effect of causing psychic congestion. It just won’t yield meaning. Meaning needs to be felt. The dream world is feeling, transpersonal, though often personified as a feminine entity because of its fluidity. Through it, we are enabled to connect to sentient reality.

The right question is the key to open the dream world’s door. Only a feeling, meaning question yields a feeling, meaning answer. Releasing the will-driven voice of analysis to pause awhile and indwell a dreamed symbol will allow meaning to emerge. What does this symbol/image mean to me? How do I feel about it? What does it remind me of in my life right now? Asking the right question is the key that allows the dream to speak its message and help connect us to underlying feelings.

Happy Interpreting!

Copyright 2013 Niamh Clune

About Dr Niamh

When I was a little girl (a very, very long time ago), I used to love learning new, really big words like ‘discombobulate’. As I grew, my love of words grew too, until I loved them so much, I could not stop writing them down. One day, as I was scribbling a particular word, a very peculiar thing happened. The word shouted at me, “Stop! Don’t put me there!” As you can imagine, I was shocked and nearly fell off my chair. When I recovered somewhat, I said to the word, “Could you stop shouting, please? I am not used to it.” Can you guess what happened next? No! I thought not. The word said, “I might be small, but I will misbehave if you do not use me properly. I will not tell the story you would like me to tell. I will say something entirely different!” I dropped my pen. I hoped that by dropping my pen, the word would stop talking. Alas! It did not. It carried on chitterchobbling, even after the ink had dried. I was in a pickle. I could not allow my words to run away with my story, now could I? I don’t know about you, but when this sort of thing happens, there is only one thing left to do if you prefer not to spend your time arguing. “Very well,” said I. “I will do as you ask if you will just be quiet and allow me to concentrate.” Since that day, I have been paying special attention to every word I invite into my stories. After all, a story should say exactly what it means to say and not be led astray. With love from Dr. Niamh, Ph.D in Learning Through The Imagination and Founder of Dr Niamh Children's Books.

7 comments on “DreamWeaver’s Corner: Interpreting Dream Images by Dr. Niamh Clune

  1. Patricia Tilton
    April 8, 2013

    Loved your post and you suggestions. The soul and the inner world only speak to us in symbols. I used to do a lot of dream work and would work with someone who’d take me back into a dream (similar to a regression) so I might get a better understanding of a specific dream. Loved doing that kind of work, but it’s been years.


    • ontheplumtree
      April 8, 2013

      We pick it up and put it down depending on need! Obviously, you don’t need to do this at the moment.


      • Patricia Tilton
        April 8, 2013

        Perhaps, but it certainly is fun work to do. Learned so much.


  2. DiAnne Ebejer
    April 8, 2013

    Another great Dreamweaver post Niamh. Really enjoy these!


  3. the secret keeper
    April 8, 2013

    Your point about going into the dream from a feeling angle rather than intellectual or thinking angle makes a great deal of sense. It is difficult to let down that guard but I will attempt not to analyze instead I will let my feeling try to experience what the dream feels like and open to thr symbols to feel what they are trying to communicate, I think for.myself fear block the way of the symbols getting their message through. But I will work on that. Your presentation is brilliant. I love following your insights on dreaming and their connection to opening the doorway to the soul. Thank you, Niamh. Jennifer


  4. thiskidreviewsbooks
    April 9, 2013

    Nice! This is very interesting!


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