Where’s My Wallet??

A friend of mine recently dreamt that he couldn’t find his wallet. It was one of those scenarios where you know where it’s supposed to be, but it’s not there and have no idea where it could have gone. DreamInterpretation_Wallet_SymbolWhen we dream about our wallet (or purse for a woman) we are dreaming about our core identity. Often we dream of losing or misplacing it. If we step back to observe our current life situation we will see one of several things: Our values don’t match our actions, We’re spreading ourselves too thin, We’re giving away our energy to others, We’re living our lives according to someone else’s desires, etc. The list goes on. In my friend’s case, he had been juggling three careers, but thought since they were all related to show business that it wouldn’t be a problem. It was one week in particular when everything came to a head. As soon as I shared the meaning of his dream, his expression changed to one of  “I could have had a V-8!” He knew that something had to go. He had known it for weeks. Suddenly, one of those careers abruptly ended, but now it came as a relief. His dream not only validated his true feelings (he’d “lost” his real identity), but it brought his true values to light.

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The Pig and the Tower

“Anne” dreamt about a specific small animal. At first, she tried to capture it, but then it grew so big it tried to attack her. See how this was interpreted, what was discovered, and what actions “Anne” took in her waking life.


Anne’s Dream:

… there was a small black pig. I was talking with people about cooking him. We were all in agreement to cook him. I continued talking with friends about going out that night. We were going to get wine to bring back to share with everyone. I went to change my jacket because we were going to chase the pig and catch him. I didn’t want to dirty my new winter jacket. A friend said she knew a good way to catch him. So, when I came back from changing my jacket I was atop a high wooden tower next to someone’s home – like it was in the backyard or something- approx 20 ft high. Below me was a black, wild boar with large tusks circling the tower – ramming the tower. I called for help as the tower was wavering. There was a window next to the tower. Rozhledna_Boruvka_2_mI tried reaching for the window handle as the tower was wavering back and forth. I couldn’t catch it. The boar started climbing up the stairs of the tower. There was a friend who was mad at me, distrusted me, but came to help me anyway. When they finally got to me, I was already indoors and safe. I think I had crawled through that second story window. I went to look for the pig (boar) and it was lurking outside the window that I had just crawled in from. I was scared and went to close the window, but the snout/head of the boar kept pushing its way in – there was no screen. I couldn’t close the window. THE END


The animal is a pig – commonly thought of as a dirty animal. The color is black – associated with the subconscious or in this case, subconscious desires/behaviors. A black pig represents that which is not “morally accepted” by society. It is a part of yourself that you fear others will judge or perhaps you yourself judge as being “dirty”. This could be a desire for revenge, or a dislike of someone/something others see as good, or an unconventional sexual desire, etc. But it is small and still manageable. You take a consensus from the group (or society) and choose to transform this “dirty” part of you into something more acceptable – hence the cooking. You want to change the group’s state of mind with the wine – make everyone happy by changing yourself. Changing one’s jacket in a dream represents changing how people see you / your role. In this case, it’s sort of the opposite where you have an “acceptable/attractive” outer appearance, but don’t want to sully it as you deal with your “sullied” thoughts/desires.
The problem here is the denial of your true feelings/beliefs. They cannot be denied no matter how much you try to “rise above” the situation or defend yourself from feeling a certain way or insulate yourself from the crowd. The small black pig has now grown into a wild boar with tusks and it is relentless. Your attempts to tame it have created an opposite effect. And your attempt to separate yourself from it is an old, dead habit. (Wood is dead thing that used to be alive.) Your true desires will not let you get away with this any longer. It is only when you “go within” do you finally feel safe. Going through a window in dreams represents self-examination. That “unfriendly friend” is your own self-judgment, and it now surrenders to forgiveness in order to help you.
Clearly this is not the end, Even after you are safe inside, the problem still haunts you. This is on-going and needs your attention.


After an in-depth phone conversation, I decided to look beyond the symbol of the pig and explain the more general meaning of “animal”. It often refers to that earthly part of ourselves – sex, the body, the earth beneath us. Then it all became clear for Anne. She had been upset and in denial about her recent weight gain. After she gained ten pounds, she pushed herself to do more exercise, but ended up gaining 12 more pounds! I asked if she considered checking her hormone balance, but she knew it was something else. She hadn’t changed her eating habits (this could be the “dead” habit symbolized by the wooden tower), and in fact they had become worse. So on the outside, to the rest of the world, she looked liked a proactive, health conscious person, when at home in private she was eating mindlessly. This was what was “morally unacceptable” to her. That very day – once faced with the simple truth – she made up her mind to eat healthy and give up late-night eating. This was a no-brainer for Anne, and it took a “weird” dream for her to take action.

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Mirror, Mirror . . .

The Latin word for mirror (speculum) has given us the verb “to speculate”; and originally speculation was scanning the sky and the related movement of the stars by means of a mirror. The Latin for star (sidus) has also give us the word “consideration” which, etymologically, means to scan the stars as a whole. An inscription on a Chinese mirror in the museum in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) reads: “Like the Sun like the Moon, like water and like gold, be clean and bright and reflect what is in your heart.” It is compared to a spiritual experience in Christian and Muslim writings. For example, in 2 Corinthians 3:18, St. Paul writes: “The human heart [is] the mirror which reflects God.” In the Japanese myth of Amaterasu, the mirror draws the divine light out of the cavern and reflects it upon the world.

Most often in dreams, we see ourselves in a mirror. We tend to look slightly different, and it is in those differences that we can interpret the message. Remember the little things  – was my hair thinner? my skin more radiant? my body smaller? Did my reflection please me? puzzle me? horrify me? I believe that seeing ourselves in a mirror is the most direct connection to how we see ourselves at any given moment or in any given situation. It can confirm our decisions, it can jar us into much needed change, and it can make us laugh at the illusions we carry with us during the day.

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Finding Out What’s Inside

A small group of us gathered on December 21st, 2011 to creatively celebrate the Winter Solstice. Armed with markers and colored pencils we began to delve into the unknown of Mandala making. Here’s what little we knew:

  1. Virtually every spiritual practice his its own way of creating a Mandala.
  2. Creating a Mandala is personal and intuitive.
  3. Carl Jung, for a period of his life, created a new Mandala every day to gain personal insight.
  4. When creating your own Mandala, don’t think.

One person whipped out 3 or 4 during the evening, another person created 2, and some of us worked on the same one for hours.

Winter Solstice Mandala

Winter Solstice Mandala

Here is mine, but clearly it is still unfinished. Although I liked the general look of it, I was puzzled as to why I chose the center image (one always starts with the center image). What was it exactly? Then it occurred to me – this is a “directional” icon found on map sites! Here it was – I was asking for direction.

There are many ways to uncover your subconscious. While I am drawn to (no pun intended) Dream Interpretation, Mandala making is yet another way to find out what’s going on deep within us. Try one. They’re pretty fun!

Growing a Mandala


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An Alternative to “Brain Drain”

So many of us have been turned on to journaling or “Morning Pages”. While I have found much personal success with the Morning Pages, the biggest complaint I hear about these activities is that they devolve into a to-do list or  . . . a list of complaints. We can often end our writing with sense of self-judgment or anxiety about what to do next. Recording our dreams first thing in the morning has several benefits. The first of which is obvious: We have a written record of what we have said to ourselves in our sleep. No one else will say these things that are only meant for us. Second, we also get a valuable by-product: We journal without having to come up with anything. It’s all just remembering. There’s no judgment about what we’re writing or where it is going. Dream logging is also fantastic “brain drain”. What in the past might have been angry thoughts dumped out onto the page, dreams use symbols that are objective. We still get the benefit of cleaning out our bad feelings without “generating” them in our writing.

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Give Yourself a Gift

When we are going through difficult times that require important life decisions our dreams often get . . . crazy. We may remember them more often during this time. They may become more vivid and detailed. They may linger with us throughout the day. The usual mistake is to simply acknowledge that we’re under stress and attribute the wild dreams to that. This is missed opportunity. This is when we must look at deeper meaning more closely. Our higher sense of wisdom is banging on our front door. We must open the door, invite our wisdom in, and have a chat.

A client came to me crying for days, as she faced her 54th birthday. She told me how she dreamt of riding a lion while fighting off both a giant rat and a rabid dog. She thought that this was the most important part of the dream, and it frightened her. As we explored her other – not so exciting – parts of the dream, we found a beautiful message. Her inner wisdom confirmed that she was powerful enough to take on anything (the gnawing rat was her fear of aging and the rabid dog was her callous mate). Also, she did not need to be confrontational, because her dream then showed her a “back door” to safety and happiness that she forgot about. There were many other things in the dream that jogged her memory. She had forgotten about a lot of good stuff, which often happens when you’re under stress.

After she gave herself the gift of exploring her dreams, her breathing returned to normal, she smiled, and gentle tears of relief washed away her fears. Now she was able to see clearly, and have confidence in her decisions.

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Asking for what you need

Questions in the desertLast night, before I went to sleep, I chose a very specific question to ask my dreaming self. I solidified it by writing it down in a notebook that I keep next to my bed. I have been unsure about certain decisions in life, and my friends suggested that perhaps I was spreading myself too thin. I only saw this as “doing everything I possible can in every area of my life in order to generate progress”.

My question was very simple:

“What must be my primary life focus right now?”

I had expected to write down my dream as soon as I woke up. Instead, I carried a simple three-note melody in my head (over and over), and couldn’t remember a single detail. I did, however, remember that I only dreamt about one thing – the answer to my question. I knew that my entire dream(s) last night was about only one area in my life. Nothing more. I found my answer.

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The Dreaded Toilet

Last night I had a dream that I was putting something in the toilet. Flushing the ToiletUsually when we dream about toilets it’s about having to use them. Using a toilet in public can point to the need for privacy. There are countless scenarios and just as many different meanings. Actually putting something in the toilet represents a parting of the ways or a need to be rid of something. As I think about what I was putting down the toilet I was reminded of an upcoming change in my life. I said “Aha!- so that’s what that was about.” I saw parts of me (in symbols) around the toilet, and just as I put one in, another one magically appeared – I couldn’t keep up. I knew that in my waking life I felt that I needed to spend more time with that part of myself before I bid it farewell. Once again, my dream reminded me of something I had put on the back burner and forgot about.

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Not Everyone Wants to Understand their Dreams

Rely on what comes from within - not outside sources.

Sometimes my work is misinterpreted as being able to see into the future. That is not what I do. What I do is give people back that “missing piece” of their own common sense. When we find ourselves running around in circles with indecision, worry, or apathy we are ignoring our most enlightened part. Our wiser self knows why we are functioning in specific ways and offers opportunities for personal transformation. The question is: Do you want transformation? There is comfort in the familiar. People who are resistant to change are often resistant to authority. Our dream messages are not like that. They are sacred because they come from within. No fortune teller, no well-meaning relative, no doctor is telling you what is going on with you – you are! Once you’re able to tune into your most enlightened self, you will begin to take action. Action always alleviates anxiety.

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Symbols: Then and Now

While symbol catalogs are a wonderful, I liken them to the alphabet. They are key to writing the message, but they are not the message.  For instance, I have several clients who dream of driving cars. Look this up as a symbol:

“To dream about driving a car indicates your will to succeed, your determination, and your talents for moving from one aspect of your life to a different one. You should consider how rough or smooth the ride in this car is. It also depends whether you are the driver or just along for the ride. This will represent your role in life as either a participant or an observer. If you are in the backseat, this represents your low self-image and that you are allowing those around you to take control of your direction. You need to evaluate your self-esteem issues. This dream represents the level at which you are dependent upon others and the amount of direction you maintain within your own life.” -Dreamforth.com

Now consider the fact that a car wasn’t a symbol at all 200 years ago! Maybe people dreamt about riding horses back then? Look up horses as a symbol today, and they convey sensuality not personal navigation. All angles of the symbol must be considered along with its context within the dream as well as the dreamer’s current life situation.

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