Dream interpretation involves the metaphoric meaning of symbols, such as events, objects, or people. Although such interpretations are not scientifically proven, many people attest to their accuracy. To believers in dream interpretation, the narrative of a dream can be broken down into separate elements. With the help of a dream interpretation dictionary to give general insight into each sign, the dream is reassembled and interpreted as a whole. The reason that completely unique dreams might share meanings is that our collective unconscious shares common cultural values, myths, and stories. A dream interpretation dictionary explains some of the ideas that present themselves in everyone's dreams, such as fears, places, or inanimate objects, to help make sense of our waking life.
A dream interpretation dictionary might have many interpretations organized alphabetically, from "abacus" to "zoo." Alternatively, it might have thematic sections, such as one that addresses the presence of people you know, and a separate one to prompt explanations for animals. Each of these thematic sections should give a general introduction to the arena of these symbols. For instance, it is generally believed that a house represents your own body and mind. Knowing this would help you to understand why a porch means your appearance and mien, while a dark attic is your deepest secrets.
Dream dictionaries that move from the general to the specific are much more useful than those that simply state, "drowning means you're overwhelmed by your emotions." Instead, they offer that water indicates your emotional state, because water is boundless, fluid, and full of sensory immediacy. You can see for yourself that a dream about thirst in a desert may indicate that you are repressing feelings, while a calm boat ride might suggest that you are at peace with yourself. However, also check the meanings of "desert" and "boat" to get the most robust interpretation.
Online dream interpretation dictionaries have the advantage of hypertext to cross-reference other possible meanings. Thus, if you dreamed of climbing up a ladder, the entry for "ladder" might lead to "falling" and "climbing." Recurring dreams of being chased, taking a test for which you aren't prepared, or falling and waking just before you land, indicate insecurity. A website could address these separately, with links to variations on the theme of doubts about our ability to succeed.
Finding lessons in unusual, individualized dreams relies on considering bits and pieces as well as the whole. Dreaming of riding a train over a high bridge and seeing a flock of birds out the window might give the disparate meanings of "career change," "risky advance," and "freedom." It's up to you to assemble this as, "you may be worried about a career choice, but after some challenges, you will find satisfaction." Dream interpretation dictionaries can give you the tools to properly interpret your own dreams, but creativity and intuition go a long way to illuminate your wishes and anxieties.