Your question: Visitations (Dreams about the deceased)
“I have dreamt of someone I loved who has passed away, does this mean they have visited me from the other side?”
Dreaming of a lost loved one often represents the feelings of loss which have manifested because you miss the person who has died. There may be events from your past which involved this person which are still relevant to your present situation, (emotionally, physically, financially and so on) which has then manifested in your dreams as a message for you to acknowledge. You may have experienced something significant and wished this person was “here” to see it.
There is still much we don’t know about dreams and it’s important to remember when we are dreaming we are in a different state of awareness (we are not unconscious). Some cultures still believe dreaming is a way to communicate with the dead.
I have also spoken with people who have picked up the ‘phone in their dreams and communicated with a deceased loved one, as if they are still alive today, and the deceased person has provided relevant information about current events (which the dreamer didn’t know). In these experiences there are common themes which stand out.
People who have been visited by a deceased loved one state, when they wake up they are filled with an incredible feeling of peace – as if something very special has just happened. Several people I’ve spoken with mention this and these dreams ‘stand out’ from other dreams in which their deceased loved ones may have featured.
Remember, if in the dream the loved one is acting out of character, or is being unkind and hurtful in any way, it is unlikely this dream is a visitation but perhaps another message for you to explore, perhaps around an unresolved feeling (like guilt) or conflict from when they were alive. Speaking with a professional can help you explore these dreams safely and in confidence.
These dreams are not to be confused with death dreams (losing someone you love in a dream.)
(c) Copyright Delphi Ellis
Back to common dreams.
Your question: Losing things (includes Being Lost in a Dream)
“I dream about losing things. What could be behind this dream?“
If the objects you lose in the dream are not specific then this could represent an overall fear of loss that you have in waking life, which has manifested in your dreams. You may have suffered a bereavement and this could be how it’s manifested in your dreams.
To dream of losing your handbag or your wallet can represent a financial situation with which you need to keep an eye on.
Being lost in a dream is common following retirement, divorce or at certain times in life where change has either been thrust upon you; even something as simple as reach a certain milestone in age (e.g. 30, 40, 50) can prompt this dream. Dreaming of being lost can suggest you may have reached a crossroads in life or that you’re not really sure which direction to take next. Sometimes this may relate to a change in career or that you’re feeling unsure about which path is the ‘right one’ and so inevitably remain still rather than take a step in to the unknown.
Your question: Falling
“I always have dreams that I am jumping off a wall but it never ends. What does this mean?”
Falling can represent being or feeling out of control, especially if you’re free falling in the way you’ve described. However, the fact that you consciously chose to jump off the wall in the dream, could represent that you are aware of a decision that needs to be made. Perhaps there is a choice which can be made freely to see what happens, a bit like a leap of faith.
Falling in a dream is not to be confused with a “hypnic jerk”, the spasm you feel when you are just falling asleep. This can be caused by a number of different things, but stress can be a common reason.
(c) Copyright Delphi Ellis
Back to common dreams.
Your question: Being Chased
“I looked in a book of dream analysis and read that being chased is a sign that one will have to work hard, but will be successful eventually. Is this true? And, can dreams mean something completely different if your culture and background is different?”
Being chased can suggest a situation is getting the better of you; it can also acknowledge the need to escape from something which may be taking over your life.
Consider who is being chased and who is doing the chasing; in many people’s dreams they do not know who they are being chased by, but simply know they are trying to get away. This can be a reflection of a general problem, rather than something specific. Have a think about how you can manage this problem so that in your waking life you can find a positive way to confront it.
With regards to the cultural background – we are all different. People with the same background or culture will still experience dreams – and life itself – differently, even if their approach to life is similar. Interpretations of those dreams will depend very much on the individuality of the dreamer. In England, the culture is (generally) that dreams are unimportant. Many eastern and other western cultures which embrace all aspects of dreaming see them as a fundamental part of every day life, cultures like the Aborigines (and their belief in the Alchera) and Native Americans (and the role of dream catchers).
Back to common dreams.
Your question: Precognitive Dreams (Dreams which predict the future)
“I dream about long lost friends and relatives only to see them or hear from them the next day. This has happened to me on several occasions and it occurred that is is more than mere coincidence. Are there are any other cases and is there any science behind it?”
A study carried out in 1980, showed that 42% of people felt they’d had at least one dream which then came true, so precognition through dreams is more common than people think. Some people say they simply ‘know’ their dreams are precognitive; others say it’s like watching a movie.
Keeping a dream diary is a good way of recording your dreams and in doing this you may notice over time your dreams have predicted an event. You may also notice there is a pattern (e.g. when you’ve eaten a certain food or corresponding with the lunar cycle).
There have been attempts and studies to explore the science behind precognitive dreaming but because often the dreamer cannot control it, they haven’t been able to have a predictive dream on demand.
Some examples of predictive dreaming can be found here following research carried out by Dr Robin Royston in 2004. Some famously recorded incidents of precognitive dreaming are said to include those of the fate of the Titanic and the Twin Towers.
There are documented exercises said to induce precognitive dreaming; this is an ancient practise which dates back centuries, including back to the temple of Apollo at Delphi. However, it’s worth considering what purpose this might serve you and how you’d use this information. What can you do about it, if you won’t know for definite if it will come true unless it happens and even then, if it’s going to happen anyway. It also means you would be worrying about the future, rather than focusing on the Now – this kind of Mind activity can become obsessive and is usually unhelpful.
Many people like to maintain a level of control of their lives, so the concept that some areas of life may be pre-determined can be unsettling. Our ancient ancestors’ used to split precognitive dreams in to two categories: events that could be prevented and those that could not. As mentioned above, the paradox is that you can’t validate a dream which predicts the future unless the dream events then unfold.
In some cases, that rather than being wholly predictive, dreams bare resemblance to thoughts the dreamer has had which they then bring into reality; if you like a self-fulfilling prophecy. However, the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD) acknowledges from research there are many impressive accounts from reliable sources which relate specifically to unlikely or unexpected events which have been dreamt about and then taken place. Those that have these types of dream often report that the dream itself “feels” different.
A Recent Daybreak Survey revealed over a quarter of viewers said they have had a dream that has come true. For more information about the Daybreak Dreams Survey click here.
(c) Copyright Delphi Ellis
Back to common dreams.
If you look at a dictionary definition for the word “dream” you will read a description like “a series of images experienced during the stage of sleep known as rapid eye movement”.
This is a very scientific description and, for me, there is more to be offered by way of an explanation. That’s not to say that the sciencey stuff isn’t important and there is a wealth of information available to those interested in that side of it.
Essentially, dreams and nightmares are good for you. We know this because research has proved the important role that dreaming plays in helping us store memory. Your dreams are also like a friend offering you a piece of advice which, like some friends, you may choose to acknowledge or ignore.
Dreams are a personal message – designed and encrypted especially for you so that only you can decode it. Where you believe this message comes from (be it God, The Universe or your Subconscious Mind) is personal to you. For me, it’s about taking the time to understand that message and then using the information to enhance your life through positive action.
Many cultures believe that dreaming is necessary to our health and wellbeing and when it comes to our dreams I believe they are so much more than just the subconscious rattlings of the Mind. You only have to look at examples of Creative Dreaming to see that. If you choose to follow a specific theoretical model when it comes to dreams (such as Jung or Freud) then you are really only getting one bite of the apple. (I discuss this more in my brief article Dreams are not for boxes and will talk more about this in my new book, out next year).
In the meantime, broaden your horizons and consider the possibilities available to you through the Dreaming World.
Did you know?
Dreams have been described as the window in to our soul… Each of us dreams in a different way and every dream is unique to the person dreaming it. It’s almost impossible for us to have a clear idea of exactly what a particular person, object or place in another person’s dream looked like, as the detail is contained wholly within the mind of the Dreamer.
“An uninterpreted dream is like an unopened letter.” The Talmud.
During the 1930s the Electroencephalograph (EEG) was invented and it was discovered that electromagnetic changes in brain activity were measurable. Over time and using these ‘waves’ of activity, it was established there is a pattern the brain follows during sleep, which incorporates various stages. It is the stage of sleep referred to as Rapid Eye Movement (REM) that is usually associated with dreaming. Sleep research has shown that dreaming is essential to our health and well being.
“As fresh facts about dream and nightmare emerge, we seem tantalizingly close the heart of the ancient enigma; but each discovery reveals yet another puzzle to be solved.” Sandra Shulman (Author of ‘Nightmare’)
Dreaming of the future
Julius Caesar’s wife, Calpurnia, warned him of his death which she dreamt, just a few days before he was assassinated. Click here for my page on precognitive dreams.
One of the most common dreams that celebrities have is a fear of turning up for work naked. This is often because they’re in the public eye and perhaps worry they will make a mistake or feel vulnerable that they are ‘on show’ to others. Kate Middleton – now the Duchess of Cambridge – announced to the media the week before the Royal Wedding this was one of her recurring dreams (that she would walk down the aisle naked) but said she also has this dream whenever she goes for an interview. See if your recurring dream is listed here on my dedicated dreams resource.
There have been many theories developed over the centuries including those of Signmund Freud and Carl Jung. Freud essentially said that dreams represented our repressed desires and Jung believed that dreams were essential to balance the equilibrium. I respect the theoretical models of dream theorists but I believe that everyone is different. Many theorists and analysts will try to tell you definitively what your dream means – I won’t do this, because I don’t believe in a ‘one size fits all’ philosophy when interpreting dreams. Instead I work with you to explore the personal message being offered to you. Like many popular theorists though, I do believe that Dreams are much more than the rattlings of the subconcsious mind.
Remember: You had the dream – you are the best person to decide what it means.
Nightmares are good for you…
Nightmares are offering you the opportunity to explore an area of your life that isn’t working for you or acknowledging a period of stress in your life. Sometimes having someone to help you explore these troubling dreams in a safe, confidential environment can help. This can be a friend, colleague or a qualified professional.
What is Dreamology?
Dreamology is the term I use to describe the study of dreams but its official name is Oneirology (a word which comes from the Greek oneiro which means dream – Oneiromancy is the term used to describe dreams which are used as a form of divination – a way to predict the future.)
For thousands of years different cultures from the Ancient Egyptians to present day have considered their dreams of great importance. Whilst many dream dictionaries can define symbols within a dream, these are not always sufficient for an interpretation itself. Different symbols can mean different things to different people. Everyone is unique.
Take a look at my dedicated resource on dreams and sleep.