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The A-Z Dream Dictionary:
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Places, Settings and Landscapes

The landscape and places in your dream are like the stage on which your inner play is set. The scene represents the overall inner condition of your psyche. Pay attention to the surroundings and the mood it creates as this may reveal some of the emotional themes that underlie the dream. Sometimes the place, landscape and setting may represent past and present situations from your waking life.


Psychological Dream Meaning: A spiritual aspect to your life is about to unfold. Buildings in dreams usually represent the dreamer, the body or the various levels of the mind. The Abbey is a holy place, ancient and free of pomp. It symbolises the true you- your spiritual self. If the Abbey is very old then you may be prompted to explore the wisdom given to us from ancient times such as the stories of the Celts or the early Christian myths. These dream-like tales will help to trigger your spiritual awakening and draw upon the archaic powers of the unconscious.

Mystical Interpretation: Although generally considered a good omen superstition says that if a young woman dreams of entering an abbey it foretells an illness. A ruined abbey predicts that plans will fail and if your way to the abbey is blocked it augers that you will be saved from a ruinous mistake. To dream of an abbot also means an illness or plot is afoot but an abbess denotes happy friendships. Top

More dreams about Abbeys


Psychological Dream Meaning: A bridge may represent a critical juncture in your life. You are about to leave one set of conditions and enter a landscape of new possibilities. This could be a new job, a change of home or a new relationship. It may also represent an inner transformation such as adopting a new set of values and leaving behind the past.

Mystical Interpretation: “Life is a bridge across a sea of change. Pass over it but do not build your house on it” says my guru Sathya Sai Baba. Perhaps the bridge in your dream represents this journey of life. Top


Psychological Dream Meaning: A cave may represent the womb or female sexuality. What you find within the cave or what comes out of it are the new qualities that the unconscious is giving birth to. The cave may also be the entrance to the ancient mind and where you can discover the ancient wisdom that is latent within you

Mystical Interpretation: In mythology dragons and monsters often lived in caves and sometimes guarded great treasure in their fiery lair. This is a symbol of how we first must overcome the fear of the unconscious before we can win the spiritual treasures. In some cases the monster that guards the cave represents a traumatic childhood experience that has been banished from consciousness. Top


Psychological Dream Meaning: Buildings represent the mind and the cellar represents its deepest levels. It is a dark, damp and sometimes frightening place where lurk creatures that shun the light of day. A cellar may be the symbolic repository where you discard all the fears and problems that you do not want to deal with. In this clandestine world, you will discover your repressed fears, worries and feelings of guilt and shame. Once you acquaint yourself with these fears and bring them into the light of day, they will no longer have power over you.

Mystical Interpretation: Superstition says that to dream of a cellar full of wine means that you will receive profits from a dubious source. Top


Psychological Dream Meaning: A church stands for the spiritual side of your nature. Buildings usually represent the dreamer and a church can therefore symbolise the totally integrated psyche that is centred on what you consider to be supreme truth. It alludes to your core values and the things you deem sacred. Your dream make be making you aware of  innate spiritual knowledge and the part of you that is eternal. This dream may be part of a series of dreams in which you explore your inner self and gain insight into divine reality.

Mystical Interpretation: Holy architecture is usually built according to sacred geometry that symbolises the unity of the soul with God. In psychological terms, they are a mandala that represents the wholeness of the psyche. Top


Psychological Dream Meaning: Your life has come to a crisis point and you must now choose between a number of options. Each road represents a direction you can travel in your life at this time. The choice may be difficult and painful but you must make your decision.

Mystical Interpretation: They hanged criminals at the crossroads so that the maximum number of travellers would witness the consequences of crime. As a dream symbol the crossroads can therefore represent crime, punishment and death. However most old dream books say that to dream of a crossroads means you will have an important decision to make about love or business. Top


Psychological Dream Meaning: To dream of a dam may mean that you have some pent-up emotions that need to be released. If you dream of a dam bursting it shows how you have lost control. Your anger may have gone beyond the point of self-control. You may feel overwhelmed with emotion. There is more than one way to deal with frustrations. Be kinder to yourself and others and honestly express your feelings in a controlled and gentle way.

Mystical Interpretation: Victorian dream books interpret blockages, impediments and obstacles as prophecies forecasting problems ahead that must be overcome. Dams fall into this category. Top


Psychological Dream Meaning: The sun rises in the East. This direction may therefore represent a new dawn and rebirth. You may also be interested in the philosophy and spiritual wisdom that comes from the great cultures of the East.

Mystical Interpretation: Your plans will be cancelled say the old dream superstitions. Top


Psychological Dream Meaning: The openness of a field may express your desire to be free. A field is also a fertile place and may therefore symbolise personal growth. The earth can  symbolise the mother, which in turn represents the instinctive levels of your being from which this growth may come.  Alternatively, the dream may simply represent you love of and desire to be with Nature. In times of trouble, a short break spent with Nature can be very therapeutic. Many of society’s ills are caused because we have lost touch with her restorative and nurturing powers. 

Mystical Interpretation: The gypsies believed that to dream of a field means there is a great deal of hard work ahead. If the field has weeds there will be little reward but if it is full of clover you will soon make wealthy friends. Top


Psychological Dream Meaning: A harbour is a sanctuary from the stormy seas. Similarly you dream shows that you have found a safe haven where you can wait until the storms pass. For the time being, seek refuge in the familiar and thereby prepare yourself for the challenges ahead. Use this period of security to grow in strength.

Mystical Interpretation: Superstition claims that to dream of entering a harbour predicts a period of security ahead but dream of leaving one and you’ll break a friendship. Top


Psychological Dream Meaning: A hill may represent an obstacle that you have to overcome in waking life. If the journey is arduous then you may be attempting something that is beyond your strength. However, if the journey is easy you may now have the inner resources you need to complete your task. Move forward one step at a time and be self-confident.

Mystical Interpretation: In this case, the superstitious interpretation is the same as the psychological one. A Freudian psychologist may add that hills represent a woman’s breasts- probably your mother’s. Top


Psychological Dream Meaning: A hospital is a place of healing. Your dream may offer you cures to improve your psychological or physical health. Observe in which department your dream is set- it may give you important clues to the nature of your problem. You may need some rest or may be trying to recover from a psychological wound that requires inner healing. Or perhaps the dream has a warning about your physical health? Does the dream offer a cure? Does it suggests a healthier behaviour pattern or diet? They called Edgar Cayce ‘the sleeping prophet’ because he would fall asleep and answer questions put to him about the health of people he had never met. He gave startlingly accurate diagnoses and his revolutionary treatments and cures are still being used and researched today. Hidden within our dreams are the keys to spiritual, psychological and physical health.

Mystical Interpretation: The Ancient Greeks believed that dreams not only give a diagnosis of a person’s health but also suggest cures. In particular this was affirmed by Hippocraties who is considered the ‘father of medicine’. Student doctors still pledge the Hippocratic Oath. Tibetan medicine also takes note of a patient’s dreams in order to uncover the spiritual cause of their physical ills. Top


Psychological Dream Meaning: A hotel is an impermanent abode and in dreams represents a transition from one set of circumstances to another. Your dream may highlight a feeling impermanence or perhaps a shift or loss of personal identity. It may indicate a change to a relationship or the price that has to be paid to sustain it.

Mystical Interpretation: If the hotel is luxurious then failure is predicted but if it’s a seedy old motel, you will soon experience good fortune. Top


Psychological Dream Meaning: You may have a craving for solitude if you dream a desert island. Perhaps you are surrounded by too many problems and need to make a little space for yourself?  The sea often symbolises the unconscious mind so your desire to remain on an island may suggest a wish to cling to the conscious ego instead of venturing into these unexplored parts of yourself. The sea is also a mother symbol and can, according to Freudian psychology, symbolise your relations with your mother. If the island is engulfed by the sea this can represent the fear of being overwhelmed by too strong a mother-attachment or by unconscious forces that are out of your control.

Mystical Interpretation: Comfort and easy circumstances are predicted by the ancient dream oracles. Top


Psychological Dream Meaning: A lake may represent the unconscious mind. Water often makes a symbolic statement about your emotional state. If the lake is clear and still then this may represent your reserves of inner peace and spiritual energy. However, if the lake is disturbed in any way then you may have emotional troubles.

Mystical Interpretation: In Japanese Zen Buddhism the lake is used as symbol for the mind. If its surface is moving you cannot see the moon’s reflection. However, if the lake is allowed to be still the moon appears. So too the mind must become still if it is to perceive enlightenment. Top


Psychological Dream Meaning: The lighthouse symbolises guidance. It helps you safely journey the stormy seas of the unconscious. Consider what it is that has helped you. Perhaps you have met someone in waking life who has guided you or have discovered a philosophy or religion to light your way and keep you off the rocks of despair.

Mystical Interpretation: You will have many new opportunities to chosse from say the oracles. Top


Psychological Dream Meaning: A market may represent your career. It may show what you can offer the world. Similarly, it may illustrate what you have to trade in order to achieve your goals. For example, do you have to trade your domestic happiness for business success etc? The goods sold in the market may clarify the dream’s theme. Antiques may represent your past, fruit and vegetables may show your potential for inner growth and cheap goods may show that you undervalue your talents.

Mystical Interpretation: Superstition says that to dream of a market denotes thrift. For a young woman it foretells changes. Top


Psychological Dream Meaning: To enter a maze in a dream usually relates to the descent into the unconscious part of yourself. It may show the complex defences that your conscious mind has put up to prevent your unconscious desires from coming into the light. The path to self-discovery does not follow a straight lone, but involves occasional returns to earlier starting-points. Your waking life may be particularly complicated at the moment and you may feel that you’re covering the same ground repeatedly.

Mystical Interpretation: The maze in mythology is a place of transformation where the destructive tendencies of nature are overcome. A classical example of this inner transformation is found in the Greek myth of how Theseus and Ariadne overcome the Minotaur in the labyrinth. Top


Psychological Dream Meaning: Mountains represent the lofty, planes of consciousness. It is the realm of the ‘higher self’, the part of you that has higher, transcendent knowledge. Dreaming of being at the top of a mountain may show how you now feel that you have risen above the common routines of life and achieved something with spiritual meaning. Conversely, it may show your desire to do this. Mountains can also indicate that you are in touch with or thinking about the higher dimensions of reality. In particular you may be thinking in a positive way about death and the afterlife. On a more mundane level, climbing a mountain may symbolise your sense of achievement and the arduous effort needed for a long-term undertaking. You are on the slippery slopes to success and have the self-determination to reach the summit.

Mystical Interpretation: If you dream of climb a mountain effortlessly then all your ventures will be successful but if you fail in your efforts to reach the summit your plans will fail. To the Chinese a mountain can symbolise the unshakeable peace that comes from keeping the mind still during meditation. Top


Psychological Dream Meaning: You may feel that your life is restricted at the moment and your dream reflects your need to change your routines. To release yourself you may need to make major changes to your waking life. Another interpretation is that you are restricted by behaviour that enslaves you or you have repressed your emotions. If you dream of someone else in prison this may represent the element of your personality which you are unable to set free.

Mystical Interpretation: Superstition can sometimes interpret dreams in very strange ways. One tells us that if you dream of seeing prisoners it is an omen that soon your dearest wish will be granted. Some sources claim that it predicts a marriage. I wonder why? Top


Psychological Dream Meaning: A quarry is a man-made hole in the environment. Perhaps your dream indicates that you have dug yourself into an emotional hole from which you cannot escape. Have you fallen into a pit of despair? A quarry may also symbolise your desire to reveal the contents of the unconscious, symbolised by the earth. Perhaps you have uncovered something that was once hidden? In a social sense, a quarry may represent your concerns about the damage being done to the environment. (If your quarry was the pursuit of an animal see Chase)

Mystical Interpretation: A chalk quarry is an omen for financial difficulties that can be overcome by hard labour. A stone quarry predicts a journey. Top


(see also Water)

Psychological Dream Meaning: The sea may represent the unconscious and your dream may show that you are now ready to explore the intuitive and instinctive aspects of yourself. Sailing on a boat or putting out to sea may represent this journey into the unknown part of you. (For a man this can represent the search for the feminine side of his nature) The condition of the sea may depict the way you are feeling. For example, a stormy sea may indicate that you feel angry about something or threatened by forces outside of your control. However, a calm sea may show inner contentment and peace of mind. Freud considered the sea and the incoming tide to be symbols of sexual union.

Mystical Meaning: In primal myths the sea existed before the creation of humankind and is therefore like a womb from which the rest of creation emerges. In the legends, we hear tell of how the creator god wrestles with the sea-goddess who is impregnated to give birth to the world. The sea is therefore a symbol of the raw materials of existence and is associated the creative potential of your true self. From a spiritual perspective, the sea may represent the totality of existence. It is the ultimate reality, the One of which we are all a part. Enlightenment is gained when the individual self merges with the infinite. This exalted state of consciousness is likened to a raindrop merging with the sea. Top


Psychological Dream Meaning: Shops can symbolise the array of opportunities and rewards that life offers us. However, if you dream that the shop is closed or that you have insufficient money then this indicates that you feel that the things you want from life are unattainable. Your dream may be telling you to lower your expectations and set yourself goals that are more realistic.

Mystical Meaning: To a tradesman this is an unlucky dream that signifying many pressing creditors. For everyone else it is an omen of prosperity but only so long as you don’t buy anything. You will be blessed with good fortune if you dream of working in a shop. Top


Psychological Dream Meaning: As a dream symbol the shore is the place where the conscious mind meets the unconscious. The dream may also represent a journey- either an actual one or the symbolic journey of self-discovery across the sea of the unconscious.

Mystical Meaning: Some mysterious authorities claim that an empty beach is a sign of an opportunity. Dream of a busy beach, and you will soon feel secure. Top


(see also Train and Journey)

Psychological Dream Meaning: A station is a point of departure. It indicates that new opportunities await you and that you are preparing for a new and perhaps exciting venture. Railway lines run in straight lines so your journey to your goal will be direct and on target. A station is also a public place so it may represent your role in society.

Mystical Meaning: It is fortunate to dream of meeting someone at the station for this means that your career will be helped forward by someone with great influence. It can also signify news coming. Top


Psychological Dream Meaning: Dreams are themselves like a theatre in which our problems, hopes and fears are acted out by characters generated by our incredible imagination. To dream of a theatre is therefore like a dream within a dream. Consequently, these dreams are often lucid because the dream symbolism helps the dreamer to realise that they are dreaming. If you dream of watching or acting in a play, pantomime or circus then consider what aspect of your personality each character represents. You are seeing your life and the way you behave from a new perspective. The dream performance will give you an insight into the way you behave and the way that you present yourself to the world.

Mystical Interpretation: Sages who have reached an exulted level of consciousness often advise us to consider life to be like a theatre. We play a part for a short time in a cosmic game. When we die we take off the costume and return to our true identity. A curious superstition claims that if you dream you cut new teeth it is a sign you will hear of the birth of a child who will do great things in the world.  Top


Psychological Dream Meaning: The underground usually symbolises the unconscious. Things that are uncovered, dug up or emerge from the ground, represent qualities that are coming from the unconscious. If it is repressed material then these images frighten us and may appear as zombies, rats or monsters. If you dream of exploring caves or mines this may show how you are discovering the inner most recesses of the unconscious.

Mystical Interpretation: To dream of being in the subway predicts a loss of money. Top


Psychological Dream Meaning: The mountains on either side of you set limitations to the direction you can go. Your dream may show that the choices you have are limited. You are forced to move forward. A journey through a valley sometimes symbolises the transition from one set of circumstances to another. (i.e. through the valley of death to a new life). You may be going through difficult but ultimately beneficial spiritual changes.

Mystical Interpretation: As a spiritual dream symbol, a valley may represent judgement and the importance of modesty: “Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain” (Isa. 40:4) Similarly, in the I Ching it says: “High mountains are worn down by the waters, and the valleys are filled up. It is the law of fate to undermine what is full and prosper the modest. And men also hate fullness and love the modest.” (Richard Wilhelm Translation, Routledge & Kegan Paul) Top


Psychological Dream Meaning: A zoo is the place where animals are caged and bred. Has your heart become like a zoo? Do you breed animal like qualities such as anger, jealousy and hatred?  Alternatively, your dream may represent your good psychological qualities that need to be released. You must decide.

Mystical Interpretation: Zoos predict lots of travel and an enjoyable sojourn stay in a foreign country. If you dream that a child is with you, there will be great good fortune. Top

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