Recently, a friend was giving a presentation about her creative/healing journey, which included a dream. Knowing that I do a lot of work with people around their dreams, she asked me if, after the presentation, I would tell her what I thought of her interpretation; I agreed.


Wonder of wonders, this experience actually highlights what I tell people all the time: Do NOT rely on so-called dream dictionaries, as YOU, the dreamer, are the best interpreter of your own dreams. So, when you give feedback to another dreamer, it is useful to preface that feedback with the phrase, “If it were my dream. . .”


In brief, the dreamer came upon a body of water which lay inbetween her and her goal, but there was a ladder there which she used to climb over the water and into the third floor of the building she was heading towards. She felt good about this accomplishment, which she viewed as reaching a more mature stage of her life without letting her emotions (the water) rule her life.


After the presentation, and the other attendees were gone, I went up to my friend, laughing. “If it were my dream, I would think that I had just avoided some useful information in my unconscious.” My friend thought for a moment, and then laughed along with me. Though water can and often does represent unconscious material, it doesn’t have to, nor does avoiding going into it always mean an avoidance of such material.


In hindsight, I think I was being influenced by a very powerful dream the daughter of a friend of mine had as she approached puberty (a very different time of life). She was trying to get to the other side of a river by crossing a bridge, but the bridge broke and she and other girls fell into the river which was filled with snakes. Though the girl heard the other girls screaming, she was peaceful, and had a very powerful encounter with a snake. Snakes often represent transformation, and this girl was clearly approaching a time of great transformation, and was doing so with a sense of peace and calm.


The girl needed to fall into the water and have her encounter with the snake; my adult friend did NOT need to go into the water to continue on her journey. In fact, what the dream seemed to say was that she was rising above old, unconscious, emotional patterns.


So. . .if either of these dreams were yours, what would you think? What lies beneath the surface of your psyche? What are your associations with water? (My relationship with water is mixed: I love taking showers, and I love being NEAR water and listening to its various sounds but, as a child, I had the felt experience of nearly drowning, which continues to color my feelings about water as something not entirely safe. Still, I recently had a dream about calmly facing a huge tsunami, and having it simply dissipate. So. . .my relationship with water appears to be evolving.)


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