Tag Archives: dreaming

Excerpts, dreaming and a winter break

Over the coming few weeks I’m going to be sprinkling the blog with book excerpts. This is because in order to spend half a week with a stall on the Stroud Christmas market, and to have any hope of a week off, I need to set up the blog in advance, and I need that not to be excessively hard work! Yes, I could stop doing a post a day, but then the hits on the blog fall away and it makes me sad, so, you get book excerpts!

Here’s the first one, taken from Pagan Dreaming, and here we get into why I think dream dictionaries are questionable…

“Why should we accept the authority of a dream dictionary, when we would not accept the authority of an official priesthood?

There’s an additional issue here that in ancestral cultures, interpreter and dreamer could be assumed to have exactly the same background, history, symbols and beliefs. A shared symbolic language makes it more likely that one person can meaningfully comment on another person’s dreams. A glance at human history will show you that symbols are not universal. The swastika has been both a sun sign and a fascist emblem. Some cultures consider black cats to be good luck signs, others find them unlucky. All symbols are culturally specific in their meanings. So for ancestors who shared culture and symbolism, the priest might well be able to help the dreamer make sense of things. These days it is less likely that any two people will entirely share a symbolic language, making interpretation necessarily a more personal business.

We have a very diverse and fractured culture, exciting in its lack of hegemony, but in which we can no longer make assumptions about shared icons and archetypes. My symbols may well not be your symbols. Thanks to technology, we have access to a wide ranging culture that gives us new stories, imagery, metaphors and concepts on a daily basis as well as access to all of the available mythology and culture of the world. The speed and
quantity of material we are exposed to also undermines our scope for having a shared symbolic language. What I read yesterday may inform me, and you have no way of knowing what I tapped into. The dreamer’s associations can therefore be radically different to the ideas an interpreter brings to them. How can we possibly assume the existence of a universal language in this context? Furthermore, with such breadth and richness to draw on for potential symbols, how can a book of a few hundred pages hope to cover all possible symbols and meanings, or deal with the speed at which pop culture icons change?

Culture not only informs our symbols, it also tells us what is important. In materialistic western culture, we might be more motivated to look for insight into our careers and financial prospects, than into the condition of our morals and virtue, for example. This will direct us to pay more attention to some dream details than to others, and probably shape what we dream about in the first place. We are unlikely to dwell on things we truly consider to be irrelevant. Thus we cannot think about dreams without also bringing into consideration our relationship with our culture.

It is worth being cynical and considering that writing dream interpretations is really easy. You can make correlations with anything that takes your fancy, and no one can objectively prove that you are wrong. You might find it amusing and instructing to invent a few dream definitions of your own. Or, take some focus that pertains to the human experience (sex, ambition, frustration, depression) and work out how every dream you can remember
having can be made to fit that interpretation. You will find that anything can be made to seem like a symbol of anything you want it to. If you intend to work with symbols, then understanding how innately malleable they are, and how vulnerable to our desires they can be, is really important. Any attempt at working with symbols has to at least try to budget in the impact of human desire – conscious and unconscious. All too often we see what we want, or what we fear may be true, not what is actually before us.”

More about the book here – http://www.moon-books.net/books/pagan-dreaming

 


Utopian Dreaming

I don’t believe in the idea of a single coherent utopian solution. This is in no small part because I do believe in plurality and diversity, and feel that ‘one true way’ generally leads to oppressive and tyrannical thinking. Often the problem with utopian ideas is that they are too narrow. Systems that require everyone to be good and kind unravel when one greedy manipulator gets in there to take over and you end up with pigs who are more equal than other pigs…

So for me, the key move towards a more utopian way of being isn’t a structural shift of some sort, but a change in thinking. If we all found holding power over others distasteful and considered excessive owning, hoarding and consuming to be rather vulgar and unattractive, those behaviours would dwindle away. If the best sign of wealth was ostentatious generosity, if it was more appealing to flaunt your fabulously sustainable lifestyle than your possessions, all manner of things would change.

I think it’s important to pause now and then and ask what an ideal world would look like. If you could live in exactly the way that would best please you, what would you be doing? For me, it’s a line of thought that suggests better work/life balances. Thinking this way has caused me to invest more care in my physical health and fitness, and pour more time into my social life. Utopian dreaming is all well and good, but it should direct us towards changes we can make, or its just so much cloud castle construction.

It is easy to build the most enormous and intricate cloud castles by imagining what someone else – governments, corporations and other bastions of power – should do to sort things out. Unless you’re prepared to follow through by joining a party and pushing that vision forward, such castles are just brain toys. Putting the world to rights in your head can give a feeling of power and cleverness, but it doesn’t change much otherwise. Better to focus on what can be changed.

Cultures are no more than the sum of people in them. If enough people all start moving in roughly the same direction, there is a culture shift. If people with shared intentions reach out to each other, bigger changes can be made.

What if we lived in cultures where health care, education, decent housing, sufficient food and enough money to live on were a given? We have the resources to achieve this, what we currently lack is the political will. Imagine living in a culture that put happiness and sustainability for all ahead of profit for the few. It is possible, and achievable. And I know, because I’ve run into them, that there are always shrill voices who will shriek that this isn’t how the real world works. But it could be. Once upon a time, feudalism was how ‘the real world’ worked. Anything can change if there’s enough will to change it.

Get dreaming. Look around to see who else shares those dreams. Look for the small, viable things that can be done to move you more towards the life you want. Talk about it. Make it real.


Dreams, meaning and the things we don’t want to mention

There’s something about the human mind that inclines us to look for patterns. We infer faces where none exist. We’re really good at seeing patterns of causality, when faced with coincidences. This is, in essence, where all superstitions come from, and why we end up with lucky socks and obsessive compulsive disorders, sometimes. The ability to find meaning is of course also the basis for all science. Let’s pause a moment and enjoy the beautiful irony that superstition and science may both depend on the same human qualities!

Post a dream on a social media site and in minutes, someone will try and interpret it. We can’t resist. Surely, amidst all the weirdness, there must be sense and significance? Surely those bizarre happenings must have symbols in them, and once we get to the symbols the madness will turn back into coherence. You can easily see the benefits this could confer as a life skill, but dreams are not regular life. I remain suspicious about the degree to which intelligible meaning can be squeezed out of the strangeness that is dreams. I think we risk reducing the dream to something less than its splendid whole when we try and make it mean something.

The sharing of dreams is also a partial process, and that’s very human, too. I’ve shared two dreams publicly, of late, where I have changed the whole impression the dream is likely to give by deliberately missing out some details. It’s tempting to skip over the embarrassing, awkward bits to get to the funny anecdote. It’s advisable not to name the people involved, frequently. Or why it was that we didn’t have any trousers on in the first place. And what we were doing, exactly, that meant this obsessive fixation with doors that won’t lock properly really came into focus.

Usually (at risk of too much information) the unlockable doors in my dreams are on toilets. A recent occasion where they weren’t raises interesting thoughts for me around ideas of boundaries, privacy, personal space and secrets. And there it goes again, that all too human urge to make sense of a dream, coupled with the equally human urge to withhold from you all of the most private and secret parts. Without the unwritten content, no one else has a shot at making sense of it – and of course that’s deliberate too, because while I might be interested in what you think about the possible symbolism of unlockable doors, I don’t want you dwelling on the symbolism of what I was trying to lock in, or out, or why.

There are all kinds of things we can do in response to our dreams. Looking for meaning is just one option. There’s a lot we can learn just by looking at which aspects we want to draw other people’s attention to, and which bits we will never admit to. Secret urges of which we will not speak. Things that do not sit well with our waking personas. Images of shame, guilt, lust, and all the other vices that we wanted to tidy away and find, awkwardly, that really we haven’t.

Pagan Dreaming… in case you want more of this sort of thing.


Creating inner landscapes

The Druid meditation of The Sacred Grove is, in part, about creating an inner landscape. Other visualisations exist within OBOD and the wider Druid community that also have that inner landscape aspect, and any pathworking will deliver it too. Inner landscapes can be important tools for reflection, exploration and spiritual experience. There are some who feel they connect us to other worlds, and they can be a useful barometer for how we’re feeling, as well. The limitation is that we construct them fairly consciously, and so they are as likely to reflect our desires as anything else.

Bears, I have noticed, tend not to shit in people’s inner woods so much.

In my late teens and early twenties, I had an incredibly strange and vivid inner landscape when dreaming. There were places I was able to visit repeatedly as well. During my twenties, I lost this, pared down to a tiny inner landscape that was a twisted version of the place I’d grown up. I did not dream widely, or wildly for a long time. If I’d allowed myself to take it seriously, I would have realised what a mess my life was in a good deal sooner.

Over the last few years, the less conscious bits of my mind have started constructing landscapes again. Big, wild landscapes full of detail and possibility. Some of which I am revisiting regularly. It feels like my mind starting to work properly again.

What are these inner landscapes? Some of it, for me, is about relationship with the land I live on. If that relationship is not good, if I am not rooted, then I won’t dream the place. When things are good, strange but familiar versions of the places I spend time will show up in my dreaming. Some of it is to do with my emotional inner landscapes. This is not unrelated to my relationship with the land. I can’t be at ease in a place where I feel no connection and no sense of belonging. How much inspiration I have and how well my imagination is being fed and is able to flourish also contributes to my making of inner landscapes.

Work that focuses on interpretation can encourage us to pull out a few key features and try to decide what they mean. What was that creature in the sacred grove, and what was it doing, and what does that kind of creature signify? As we have, on some level constructed our inner landscapes, be they dreamed or visualised, treating them as a code to crack may be reductive to say the least. If we take a more holistic view of them, they may make more sense. To go into an actual wood and ask ‘what is the meaning of my seeing a deer here?’ is to miss out the deer’s relationship with the wood, the seasons, the food supplies. To take the deer out of context in search of personal meaning can, in real life, allow you to miss what was actually happening. Deer have their own reasons.

To take a deer out of a dream landscape as a symbol, may be interesting, but there are no more guarantees that the symbolic potential was the important bit. Maybe it’s more important to note that your inner wood now has creatures in it. Inner landscapes offer us the potential for a bigger picture, and it pays not to pick them apart and lose our sense of the wood by staring too hard at the trees.

More thoughts on interpretation and dreams here.


The hellish culture of sleep deprivation

Sleep deprivation is torture and is recognised under international torture laws as such. I know from personal experience that if you are constantly deprived of sleep, there comes a point when you will start to do or say anything at all that you think might end the nightmare. Because (trigger warning on the rest of this paragraph, but the blog content afterward should be less alarming and not triggery) the relatively brief misery of forced, painful, humiliating unwanted sex is actually less bad to deal with than extreme sleep deprivation. Both cause longer term emotional and psychological distress, but trust me, when you’re agonisingly sleep deprived, these are not things you can weigh up.

Again, speaking from experience, sleep deprivation messes with your thinking and makes it very hard to make good choices. It slows the mind and impairs judgement. It can cause hallucination – amusing at a weekend festival perhaps, nightmarish when you’re trying to deal with real life and can no longer quite tell what’s real. Waking dreams invading your consciousness in the wrong context are a real problem. There isn’t an illness or issue out there that won’t be made worse by sleep deprivation. I gather (from New Scientist a couple of years ago) that studies show a distinct correlation between sleep deprivation and weight gain. It really isn’t good for us.

Other studies show that as a whole we have a sleep deprived culture with a lot of people reporting far less sleep than they want. Work that follows you home, awkward and changing work patterns that shift when you can sleep, and thus disrupt your sleep. Not enough exercise to tire the body. Too much mental stress to be able to settle. Light pollution. Noise pollution. Over-stimulated environments. Too much caffeine to try and function the rest of the time. We’re tired, most of us, and that we are tired is not taken as a reason to do differently. You still have to turn up to the job when it suits your employer. You still have to go to school bright and early – or get up and get kids to school. Most of us are not in control of our timetables, and if we desperately needed more sleep, there’s not much we can do about it.

Sleep deprivation is a recognised form of torture. This is not taken into account when ordering people’s change of shift, and I’ve seen the consequences for friends. It’s not taken into account for the parents of young babies when they need to go back to work. It’s not at all recognised by the on demand 24/7 lifestyle we get pushed towards.

I’m a sleep evangelist, because there aren’t many things in this life that can’t be helped with more sleep. Any illness is more quickly overcome if we can sleep enough. Good, deep sleep helps with many kinds of mental distress (not the staying in bed drowsing in apathy semi sleep of the depressed, though). Sleep helps with learning. We don’t learn well if we aren’t sleeping enough because our brains need that time to consolidate new input. This applies to new experiences as well as deliberate study. If we sleep well, our moods are better, we aren’t as short tempered, we are less likely to get the threadbare exhaustion that paves the way to depression and anxiety. A well rested, clear thinking person makes better judgements. Sleep more. If you don’t need an alarm to wake up, you know you’re doing it right.

Pagan Dreaming is not just about dreaming, it’s also about the context for dreaming – namely sleep. I chose the title because it’s punchy and attractive, but in terms of what is in the book, I think you can tell it was written by a sleep evangelist, and there’s a lot in there about wilder, more natural, more beneficial approaches to sleeping. After all, if your sleep patterns are lousy, your stressed and anxious mind is never going to get round to the really interesting dreaming. I learned this stuff the hard way…


The care and maintenance of authors

If you like books, then you have something of a vested interest in making sure the books you like are available, so here’s a thing.

This month I have a new book out – Pagan Dreaming. I have a request – if you were thinking about buying a copy, please consider pre-ordering it. Let me explain why…

A lot of books get published every week. Most of them remain relatively obscure, or entirely obscure. This is inevitable, given the numbers. Only the biggest houses have any kind of money to spend on promotion, and mostly even they depend on author fame, TV and movie tie ins and the like, to sell books.

However, books that sell well become more visible – this is especially true on amazon, but also the case anywhere there’s any kind of best seller list. Bricks and mortar establishments tend not to touch books from small and obscure authors unless you give them the copies and invoice them, and wait for them to pay you. I’ve heard enough horror stories about books that just disappeared, to the author’s expense. It’s much better for the author if they strike the bookstore as being worth bothering with. Hit a best seller list – even in a small niche on amazon, and people who are interested in that niche become way more likely to see you.

It’s shockingly difficult to sell books to people who have no idea your book even exists.

If you aren’t considering picking up a copy of Pagan Dreaming, bear in mind that all the same things apply to any book you might consider buying. If you like an author, you can do them an enormous favour by pre-ordering their book. Pre orders mean releasing a book into the lists, not into the unknown. You up their chances of being noticed, ad selling books, and this in turn ups the odds of them being able to afford to live, and thus able to afford to keep writing books. I know I bang on about this a lot but it stands repeating: Most authors are not rich, most are relatively poor, most are only authors part time because that’s the only way they can pay the bills. What you do has the scope to make a real difference.

In case you get the urge, here are assorted places you can find Pagan Dreaming.

Hive.co.uk actively supports bookshops so if you want to support indie book stores, and are in the UK, this is well worth a look. They don’t have it yet, but they have a lot of other books and a good ethos. they have everything else I’ve written.

Book Depository can ship anywhere, so if you live somewhere that doesn’t lend itself to easy book buying, they’re especially worth a look. they have it on offer, and seem ready to send it already.  Plus they’re actually based down the road from me in Gloucester, so I count this as supporting my local economy!

Barnes and Noble

AMAZON US AMAZON UK

And if you do want to order it from a physical store, the paperback isbn is 978-1-78535-090-0

Thank you!


Strange dreaming

There’s a lot going on in my head right now that isn’t consciously available to me. I can tell because last night I dreamed about competitive neo-nazi rabbits and marmalade, and on waking it is impossible to articulate what the connection between rabbits and orange jam was. This isn’t a one off. All of my dreaming lately has been vivid, colourful, complex, and rabidly incoherent. My normal dreaming tends towards more narrative, so I know from the change that something entirely different is happening in my head.

I’ve studied dreams and sleeping since my teens. Most of that has been an informal working with my dream experiences and attention to how dreaming relates to my life. I’ve poked around a bit in the psychology of dreams, and the science of sleep. Alongside that I’ve had exposure to dream interpretation books. I’m not a big fan of dream interpretation books – I think they’re reductive, and that personal symbolism is a far more complicated thing. I think there’s a lot more to dreaming than pulling ‘meanings’ out of it, as well, and that most dreams are not in the least bit prophetic.

So, why the neo-nazi rabbits and the marmalade? I suspect the rabbits are Nazis because of what I was reading last night. The rest of the features, if teased out and examined to see what they might represent, offer me nothing. No stories emerge, no powerful emotional associations, no coherence whatsoever. Nothing about this dream even suggests to me that it needs interpreting. I don’t think I’m trying to tell myself anything important right now, I’m chewing. I’m breaking down old concepts and investigating new ones, and the side effects are random because I clearly don’t have a symbolic language for this as yet, much less words I can use consciously.

How do we make radical changes to ourselves and our thoughts? If you’ve always felt or believed something, then changing it by a process of deciding to believe something else is very hard work. Beliefs send out roots and suckers into our minds, they connect to other things, and grow stories that keep them in place in our lives. You don’t just uproot and discard something like that in one go. Equally you don’t grow new concepts easily when you have no language for them, you don’t rework the stories you have without some upheaval. Possibly you do become able to change your thinking overnight. Or over many nights, more accurately.

One of the things that dreams can do is allow us to think what is otherwise, quite literally, unthinkable. By chewing on something in our dreams we can create new symbols and narratives that can gradually become available to the waking mind.

If this sounds like your sort of thing, I have a book out this summer, full of such approaches to dreaming.


Dreaming a future

Lives are made of choices, and the small, day to day ones often shape the larger issues and inform the options we have. Who we are is fashioned from one hour to the next in the small details of how we choose to live. Our dreams are a part of this. What do we aspire to? Where do we see ourselves being this time next year? What are we moving towards? What are we trying to leave behind?

We live in a culture where the selling of small dreams is an everyday issue. Adverts don’t just offer us specific products, but try to imply a whole lifestyle that we are to desire. And what are we desiring? A certain kind of body shape, sofa, kitchen arrangement, a holiday. A nice, well behaved and clean looking child, a partner who brings flowers… It pays to stop and think about the casual daydreams.

There’s nothing wrong with dreaming small. Having just the right thing can make worlds of difference. The slow cooker, the wok, a ball of yarn, the right mattress… Knowing how those small dreams fit into the totality of your life is important. At the moment I’m dreaming a wormery to deal with kitchen waste and a bin to grow potatoes in. Small dreams that relate to a much bigger idea about living lightly. In our little dreams we are building the shape of our choices. When the opportunity to dream big comes along, the small dreams will help you birth the big ones.

In magical practice, will is everything. Will without a grand plan can get you into all kinds of trouble, though. Toddlers tend to have a lot of will coupled with entirely short term thinking. Left to their own devices, this combination can prove fatal! Will must be shaped by intent – clear, well considered intent that will hold up to challenges and scrutiny. You can’t work magic of any sort with a half-arsed plan in which you’ve not invested much attention. All of this also depends on self knowledge. If you do not know yourself, you will not know what you want or need, what methods of chasing it would suit you, and if you get there you may find it wasn’t it anyway.

Paying attention to the small dreams helps develop self knowledge. What do you crave? What are you missing? What are you working for? It’s also far too easy to get into the trap of running hard, working hard, and that becoming an end in itself. Get too tired and downtrodden and there may be no space for the idea of working *for* something, you just crawl from day to day. Survival replaces living, and none of us would aspire to that, if we recognised the choice.

The tougher things are, the easier it is to have no time to create even the smallest dreams. However, this is the time when a bit of dreaming is most important. It is the dreaming that will help us spot better opportunities and see a reason to go for them. It is dreaming that helps us hold a sense of self not wholly dependent on our most immediate circumstances. In terms of getting through a crisis, that can make all the difference.

Look after the small dreams. Give them time and space to grow. Let them show you something of who you are and where you want to be. If your dreams turn out to be full of other people’s product pitches, you can choose to lay them down and try some other vision.


The death of dreams

One of the hardest things to deal with in times of loss and grief, is the attendant loss of that which never was. It’s an issue when someone in our lives dies, in the breakdown of relationship, the loss of a home, a job, or any aspect of your way of life. All the things you imagined would be, all the dreams you wove around that thing have to now be dismantled, or rebuilt somewhere else. It’s a hard process, made more so by being invisible and difficult to explain. The more disproportionately you have invested in relation to what was actually there, the more it hurts, and the more silly you get to feel along the way.

I’m getting fond of blog posts with soundtracks, and for me this song encapsulates something about the secret grief that is a dead dream.

Life is not kind to dreams, and often we are not culturally kind to dreamers, either. To be a daydreamer is to be out of touch with reality, to be a fool, unrealistic and doomed to be disappointed. And yet, without dreams, without wild hopes and aspirations, without the triumph of optimism over experience, life would be thin and pale. It’s the willingness to dream that sets us on the path of new romances, takes us to new jobs, founds new organisations and groups, gets up and tries. You have to dream before you’ll make anything new. Some of those dreams are stillborn, or die young. It is part of the nature of dreams.

When pets and people die, it is obvious, and we have some idea how to grieve that. Dreams die slowly and quietly, slipping away without telling you. No one else sees their passing, there are no funerals for dreams, although plenty of poets will write them elegies. But poets are dreamers themselves, and wider culture doesn’t have much truck with that either.

There is deep, hidden personal tragedy in the death of a dream. It does not matter how large the dream was. Small dreams of days off, a little good, a small joy, are painful in their demise as well. It does not matter how crazy the dream was, all those abandoned ideas of fame, fortune, creativity and a life less ordinary. It does not matter whether you fed it with action, or cherished it as an idle thought, its death will still diminish you and take a little colour out of the world.

When enough dreams have died, it becomes easy to give up on them entirely. Dreams are foolish and ephemeral things, as the song says, ‘they just let you down’. So perhaps you stop dreaming them. Perhaps you stop hoping, daring and imagining. You don’t hold them anymore and you stop feeding the ones you were trying to make real. It is a bitter road to walk, wherever it takes you.

Afterwards, when you have buried the dream and grieved its death, the trick is to start over, to dream something new, to make hope out of whatever threads are left. So I’ll leave you with a second song, one that reliably makes me cry.

Don’t be misled by the first verse, this is not *just* a song about a ship. This is a song about not quitting, about love and determination, and refusing to give up on dreams and passions… though your heart it be broken and life about to end… no matter what you’ve lost, be it a home a love a friend, like the Mary Ellen Carter rise again.


What dreams may come

Dream interpretation has always fascinated me. As a very young person, I got my hands on a dream interpretation book, but I rapidly found that the ‘answers’ were a bit too tidy, and most of my dreams did not include things that could be readily picked out as symbols and interpreted that way. I’ve always tended more towards narrative threads, and my symbolism is pretty personal. My impression is this is generally the case. We all have symbolic languages in which our unconscious minds try and talk to our waking ones. Life experience, belief, preference and so forth contribute to make this personal symbolism work. Unravelling it is a journey into the self. The first question to ask is not ‘what does the book say?’ but, ‘what does that mean to me?’

I studied Freud a bit at uni, which confirmed my feeling that trying to impose meaning from the outside, is reductive and pointless.
That said, there are trends that stand some consideration. Firstly, if you are learning something, your brain will consolidate that during periods of rest and sleep. We aren’t conscious of much of the process inside our own minds. This is distinct from your Freudian unconscious, which has its own drives and agendas. It’s more like the way in which you can’t see what your computer is doing to make these words visible to you. That much self awareness would drive us crazy. So, we have a functional, not-conscious element to the mind that handles the sorting, storing, and comprehension without our conscious thought processes getting involved. One of the signs that you truly know a thing is being able to do it without consciously thinking about it. Dreaming can be part of the consolidation process, so what you dream may reflect what you’re learning.

Now, that Freudian style unconscious, that place of repressed emotions does seem to exist. If we are deep in denial about something, it bubbles up eventually. Dreams can express to us the things we are consciously trying not to be aware of – fear, desire, need, insecurity, all that kind of thing. There’s scope for self knowledge here, because if we can acknowledge the dreams that manifest what we’re refusing to deal with, we get closer to dealing with it.

The person who does not get enough sleep, also doesn’t get enough dream sleep, so having and remembering dreams is a good sign of sufficient good quality sleep. It’s worth considering your dreaming in this very pragmatic way, because it can give you some useful information about the state of your sleeping.

I also think that dreaming is a good indicator of your state of mind generally. Drab, dull, repetitive dreams – such as dreaming in extra days at work, do not speak of a happy and fulfilled mind. Anxiety dreams can be very telling. Having the same set of dreams can be suggestive that something in your waking life needs tackling, and that you are trying very hard to flag this up to yourself. The person who dreams strangely and widely, drawing on all kinds of experience, is probably in better shape than not, between the ears.

Rich dreaming can be emotionally rewarding, as well as going alongside good sleep. It is worth paying attention to dreams. You don’t have to believe in much, or see any magical component, to be able to notice that they are a function of the mind, and that something is going on there. Stay away from Freud though, unless you’re reading him for giggles. Don’t assume there is one right answer to your dreaming and that someone else can tell you what it is. The only right answers are the ones that make sense to you, and sometimes dreaming has no discernible meaning at all. Some of it is white noise. Some of it is prompted by external things. (The boat rocks and I dream of an earthquake, for example). We can get so bogged down in the question of what things mean that we forget that sometimes things just are, and that no extra layers need to be added.