What Do Dreams Reveal?

Throughout history, dreams have played a major role in cultural, spiritual, philosophical, and creative thought. In modern times, the scientific and psychological view of dreams, and their connection to the subconscious, has brought many fascinating insights to the topic. The realm of dreams holds the most universally held feelings and experiences of being human. Excitement, fear, expectation, adventure, hesitation, resentment, guilt, and desire are some of the most common expressions of our subconscious that show up in our dreams.

What emerges in a dream is a pure reflection of your mind. When we are fully conscious we sometimes edit, analyze or self-regulate our thoughts and feelings, even if we are not aware of doing so.

Dreams are a mirror into the essence of who you truly are and what you honestly feel.

They can illuminate situations, present a new perspective, and sometimes even provide clues to the solutions we seek in life.

Dream Analysis

Before you analyze and learn from your dreams, it’s important to understand how they communicate their meaning. Dreams work with symbols and metaphors. Though it’s impossible to know exactly what all the things that come to you in a dream are representing, even if we can process some of it, that power has huge potential. Connecting the dots to issues, struggles, and situations in our lives can unlock keys to happiness, peace of mind, and perhaps even advanced knowledge of things that have yet to rise into your consciousness. Remember, the unconscious mind is your ally. It provides information, but only if you are open to it and willing to do the work to understand what it’s telling you. When you become more observant and mindful of your dreams, it will carry over to your waking life.

We have the benefit of many, many years of dream study and tradition across a wide range of thought and belief systems. The symbolism that appears in dreams is not random, but rather based on the way our subconscious manifests our emotions and thinking. There will be some differences in the exact interpretation of any particular symbol, depending on what tradition or school of thought we follow, but there is a cohesive and broad similarity in the idea that dreams pack their interpretation in metaphors and associations.


An important point to understand as you dive into dream interpretation is that a nightmare is not very different from a pleasant dream. Both are providing information that your subconscious is grappling with. What may appear as a straightforward fear of something in a dream, will often reveal much more complicated dynamics. A nightmare may even reflect certain positive emotions and experiences that we sometimes mistakenly call “bad dreams.” You may be wondering how a nightmare about being attacked by a shark, or falling down a hole, could be a good message! If you look closely, and realize that within that nightmare there may be a very productive “working out” of feelings or emotions, its purpose becomes clear.

Positive outcomes can be cultivated by having a nightmare!

When we interpret our dreams and nightmares with a thoughtful, compassionate approach, new levels of awareness and transformation are possible. You will see how incredibly rich the landscape of your psyche is, and how it works in relation to what is going on in your world. Dreams are an adventure, a door to open, and a flight into the soul. They are the looking glass in which we travel through, experiencing pure subconscious thoughts and feelings. Dreams hold a very special place in the analysis of who we are, how we relate to our life, and what is on our horizon.

Listen to My Radio Archive on  Dream Interpretation


Derek O’Neill, fondly referred to as the Celtic Sage, inspires and uplifts people from all walks of life, offering guidance to influential world leaders, businesses, celebrities, athletes and everyday people alike. Distilled from his life work in psychotherapy, a martial arts career and study with wise yogis and Indian and Tibetan masters, Derek translates ancient wisdom into modern day teachings to address the biggest challenges facing humanity today. For additional insights listen to his free radio archives or order his books on Mindfulness, Anxiety, Stress and Depression.


Image courtesy of Anthony Tran.