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Symbols to Feed Your Dreams | Blog Your Blessings

February 3, 2008 on 12:18 am | In Dream Symbols | 4 Comments

The subconscious mind speaks to us largely through symbols. Because our dreams serve partly as a way for our subconscious mind to communicate with us, if you feed your subconscious mind more symbols, it can communicate with you more clearly.

You can add to the ability of your subconscious mind to reach you by studying vivid, complete systems of symbolism that add to the vocabulary of your mind, and your dreams, in a coherent way. That makes it easier to interpret your dreams.

Religions have their own symbol systems. So do certain mystical or esoteric groups inside and outside of religions. There are other symbol systems, some quite elaborate, that are more culturally based.

Some symbol systems will speak to you personally more than others. They will fire your imagination and give you feeling of understanding. Those are the ones to look for.

Back in the 1980s there was a fad for studying the Norse or Germanic runes. You may recall that there were a lot of popular books and oracle systems based on them. Some became mainstream best-sellers.

Some people studied the Celtic ogham system. But the ogham marks are quite linear and were only used for inscriptions on monuments, so that was less productive.

Still, the ogham were supposedly based on a Celtic symbol system that assigned meanings to various trees and other plants, and many people found that the so-called tree calendar spoke to them intuitively.

Over the centuries many people in the West have studied the tarot. While its origins are mysterious, the tarot is still in use because the symbolism speaks deeply to people of European heritage–and to many others.

The tarot has developed into a complex and useful symbol system that only reached full flowering in the Rider-Waite tarot deck about 100 years ago. It continues to flourish because it helps the subconscious mind communicate.

Tibet, India, Japan, China, and other Eastern countries have immensely old, complex and effective symbolism that still speaks to dreamers today. People in the East developed Buddhist iconography, Hindu and Buddhist mandalas and other intricate symbol systems that have been perfected and proven valuable over thousands of years.

The even older shamanic symbols of the huge Siberian region have spread throughout much of the world. They have become part of the symbol systems of many cultures.

Nowadays shamanic symbolism is making a huge recovery since the fall of the Soviet Union. In a region with many cultures, nationalities, and languages completely unrelated to each other, the shamanic dream practices and symbols are amazingly widespread and similar.

The symbol systems of the Americas are widely diverse, including the Mayan calendar, the mysterious Olmec heads, thousands of Native American teaching stories representing hundreds of different languages and belief systems, medicine wheels, animal spirits, and many other sets of symbols.

Africa offers infinitely deep, rich and complex symbolism. Just a few examples are the hundreds of beautiful and meaningful adinkra symbols of Ghana and surrounding areas, the hieroglyphics and religious symbols of ancient Egypt, and the intricately beautiful Tuareg symbols representing each of the main oases on the caravan routes. And there are many more.

All over the Pacific Ocean area there is a wealth of symbolism: from the intricate totem poles of the far north to the giant Easter Island statues to the paintings and songs of the Australian Aborigine peoples and the intricate tatoos of the Maori of New Zealand.

Did I mention the Kabbala? And the beautiful carvings and temples of Southeast Asia, Malaysia, and Indonesia? What about the music of Madagascar, Africa, and the Near East?

With a little web surfing or a trip to the library, you can find as many more examples as there are cultures in the world. Many of those cultures have quite sophisticated and precise methods for working with dreams.

Ancient peoples throughout the world mastered many kinds of dreamwork-–including dream incubation, dream interpretation, active dreaming, lucid dreaming, and out of body dream travel. Today you can feed your dreams with the intuitive wisdom and subconscious knowledge of the ages.

The whole dreaming world is blessed with an immense store of evocative symbol systems. May they enrich your dreams, too.


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  1. As you study symbols, do you notice how many are similar across different cultures. The raven, the wolf, the whale, the sun . . .

    Comment by CyberCelt — February 3, 2008 #

  2. <p>My reply to CyberCelt’s interesting comment was way too long. And it was impossible to format so that it was easy to read as a comment, so I made it into a blog post.</p>

    Comment by admin — February 3, 2008 #

  3. Thanks for this! I’ve actually been looking into this for a while, are you aware of any sound further reasources for this?

    Comment by brain waves — September 24, 2009 #

  4. Do you mean resources on symbolism? Or resources on how studying symbolism affects your dreams?

    If the latter, the books on dreamwork by Patricia Garfield are a good place to start. I particularly recommend Creative Dreaming, which I reviewed in this blog: http://www.dreamvisions.info/dream-types/lucid-dreams/creative-dreaming-byb

    I cannot remember offhand whether it was Garfield, or Ann Faraday who wrote about her own experience in therapy (required for psychiatrists) of having the symbol set for whichever therapy modality she was currently studying (Freudianism, Jungism, Gestalt, etc.) shape her dreams.

    Robert Moss writes about the interaction of symbols with dreams *and* with daytime life, too. All his books are good. I have reviewed several in this blog. Just enter his name in the search box at the upper right corner of the page: Robert Moss

    Comment by admin — September 24, 2009 #

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