It All Depends on What the Birds are DOING!
Most dream symbols can have more than one meaning. In fact, sometimes one THING (or person, place…) can actually have many different possible meanings. The mystery lies in what this thing is doing in your dream and/or how it makes you feel.
If you think about it, it all makes sense. After all, even in our REAL world, a single object means different things at different times. If we use a knife to spread butter on a fresh biscuit, the knife is kind of a ticket to deliciousness. However, if we cut ourselves with a knife, then it’s anything but delicious. It suddenly becomes a cruel weapon!
When I think of symbols that can mean many different things in dreams (based upon what they’re doing, how they’re behaving, how they look, etc) – birds come to mind. There are almost as many different dream interpretations for bird dreams as there are birds.
Below are some of the most common. Remember, when interpreting or analyzing your dream, always try to pinpoint what you feel is the most important aspect of each dream component. This is usually the thing that “stands out” the most.
- If you dream of birds and the thing that “stands out” in your mind the most is the sheer number of birds, this is a dream about being overwhelmed in life… of feeling that your problems, anxieties, or worries outnumber you.
- If the thing that you feel is most important about your bird dream is the bird’s nest, the analysis will have everything to do with your home. How did the birds react or respond to the nest? Was it a place of refuge? Was it too small? Was it empty? The dream analysis will lie in the details.
- If the birds in your dream are “watching” over something or someone, the dream analysis is one of observation. You (in your day to day life) have begun to observe or “watch for” something – OR, deep in your subconscious, you know you SHOULD begin observing something or someone more closely. There are, like, a billion and one possible explanations for this one!
- If the most important thing about the bird or birds seems to be their flight, this dream represents freedom. Most of the time, this is freedom from something unpleasant (bills, stress, pain, anxiety, family discord, a bad habit…) but it can also represent freedom from someone or someplace.
- If the COLOR of the bird(s) seems to be the central theme of your dream, you have to look at what the color symbolizes: Blue (usually means peace and contentment – but it can also represent sadness, as in “the blues”) – Red (usually represents strong emotions, power, strength, and drive) – Purple or hues of purple (royalty, healing, Spirituality) – Yellow (health, well-being, happiness, joy, laughter) – Orange (friendships, happiness, fun) – Black (often stands for something elusive or mysterious) – Green (can mean money, innocence, purity, hope, and healing… it can also represent a “green light” for something you’ve been contemplating).
- If birds are fighting, it’s a sign of discord in your life – either within your relationships or discord you’re having with yourself.
Why In the World Would I Dream of Madonna….
I’m a 20 something year old female who really loves your dream website. I read all of the dream interpretations and have even been helped by a lot of them. I had a dream recently that I’d love for you to take a crack at. First of all, I’m not a Madonna fan. I like her early music but think her later music was kind of embarrassing for her. I had a dream that I was helping Madonna, of all people, find an address. I’m not even a fan, but I was being SO nice to her and she was so grateful and nice to me too. I read in your dream interpretations that you say the dreamer should ask themselves what they associate with their dream symbols or the people in their dreams. With Madonna, I think of someone who is older than me. I don’t think she’s even really that old, but she is older than me and she looks pretty haggard a lot of the time. Withered and all. Anyway, old is the word I associate most with her. Why in the world would I dream about Madonna? -Am I scared of getting old? – Kelly
Well, easy there, you’re talking to someone who’s a Madonna fan! Seriously, I know every word to every song. Yes, even the later ones. Though I’ll admit, they weren’t quite as good as early, vintage Madonna. Also, as a fan, I also hasten to point out that pictures taken of celebrities are often meant to shock us. They make certain to photograph certain celebrities at the worst possible time and some even alter these images. No doubt the pictures you’re referring to have been some of these pics.
As for your dream’s meaning, you’re on the right track with the “associating” exercise, but – ironically – I think you’re going in the wrong direction. If there were any sort of fear, anxiety, or apprehension involved, the dream would have been more negative. However, it was a positive dream which means that it’s highly unlikely anything negative was hidden in the meaning.
In fact, I’d go so far as to say that this dream has a very positive interpretation. For whatever reasons, you are at complete peace with growing older. Maybe you realize that with all the products, information, and services available today, we can fight the aging process like never before. You’ve probably arrived at the place in your life where you realize that age is just a number – nothing more, nothing less.
I believe your subconscious mind produced someone who symbolized growing “older” to you. I also think that it chose someone who (whether you care to admit it or not) represents aging while still having fun and living life on their own terms.
Madonna represents many things to many people but has always been a sex symbol to most. She symbolizes being comfortable with who you are – whatever your age. She even represents an attitude of “If you don’t like me, it’s your loss!”
I believe that the fact your dream was upbeat and positive simply means you haven’t just made peace with growing older but have come to view it as an adventure.
A final note about your dream. You mention you were helping her find an address. When we’re LOOKING for something in our dream, it usually means we’re searching for something in life. However, you were helping her FIND an address which, to me, means you’ve found something recently – comfort with the person you see in the mirror today as well as the one you’ll see in the mirror 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60 years from now!
A Frustrating Dream That’s Actually Telling You Something
What does it mean when you dream that you keep trying to get something but can’t quite reach it? I have had several dreams like this. In the first one, I needed to get on the other side of a fence for some reason (I think something was chasing me). All I knew was I had to get to the other side of the fence, but when I ran toward it, it kept moving away. The further I ran, the more it moved away from me. I couldn’t reach it and actually felt the frustration from this dream all day long the next day.
Another dream was similar. I was at someone’s wedding, putting floating candles in a pond. It was a stupid dream, really. I don’t know anyone getting married and I don’t care about floating candles. I’m a guy who loves football, baseball, hockey, and NBA games, I don’t care about candles or weddings! Anyway, one of my candles (can’t believe I’m even typing these words) blew out and I needed to get it back to me to re-light it. No matter which side I approached it from, I couldn’t reach it!
One more dream. I was playing cards with a friend and dropped one of my cards. Even though it was on the floor.. you guessed it… I couldn’t reach it.
What do these frustrating dreams mean and how can I make them stop?
I actually feel frustrated for you – just reading about your dreams. I can imagine how you must feel! Dreams like this often “build upon” one another because we’ll be thinking a lot about the last dream – even using descriptive words like “frustrating,” “recurring,” etc. We sort of invite these annoying dreams to keep coming around merely by thinking about them.
Problem is, how can we not?!
Frustrating dreams always have a message behind them – even if it’s a small one. The original frustrating dream could have been prompted by a number of things:
- A win that was “just out of reach” – either a sport you were playing, yourself, or a favorite team’s frustrating loss.
- A goal that you’re shooting for that always seems just out of reach. The frustration from trying to lose weight, kick a habit, work out, etc can spill into our dreams. The frustration we feel while we’re awake finds us while we’re asleep!
- An issue at work or school that’s frustrating can also “show up” disguised as something else in your dreams.
Each thing in your dream that was “out of reach” represents something in your “real world” that seems out of reach. Once you realize what this thing is, you can (and should) put together a “can’t miss” plan for reaching your goal. This, obviously, only relates to things within your control. If you’re frustration stems from, say, your favorite baseball team’s losses there’s nothing you can do about that… short of picking a new favorite team.
Very often, simply realizing what the dreams are trying to tell you will cause them to think, “My job here is done.” Then, mercifully, you’ll be rid of them.
Never a Fun Combination!
I was recently asked about “Lost Key” dreams – dreams that are obviously frustrating at best! The frustration is multiplied when the dreams are recurring, like this particular dreamer’s were. When a dream puts itself in reruns, it always leaves the dreamer perplexed.
Why is my mind doing this?!
The wonderful thing about “lost key” dreams is the fact that they’re usually pretty easy to interpret and analyze. Simply put… something’s missing! When we dream that we can’t find an object (or person, place…), the symbolism is generally of something we’re “looking” for in our day to day lives. This could refer to any number of things, such as:
- peace of mind
- an answer to a particular problem
- better health
- weight loss
- job or career
- car, house, or furniture
- better relationship(s)
- school or college
- how to find enough time for everything you need to do
It could be absolutely anything that you’re searching for on somewhat of a daily basis.
When you have recurring dreams, you can rest assured that your subconscious mind is trying to tell you something. More importantly, it’s actually trying to “work something” out in the dream(s).
Our minds are amazing and complex things. The mind knows that when you’re asleep, all distractions are gone. The mind sees this scenario as the perfect time to “work out” issues or even hammer things out in an attempt to find a solution or a “best possible answer.”
If you’re experiencing recurring dreams (whether they’re about lost keys or something else), your mind is working hard to come up with an answer that’s eluding it. It may or may not mean that the problem is huge. In fact, if the problem WERE really big, it’d be pretty obvious to you when you were thinking about the dream.
Here’s an exercise that works for analyzing key dreams:
- Write down the first 3 things that come to mind after reading this question: “”What am I looking for that seems to be eluding me lately?” You may very well answer only one thing – if so, you certainly know your answer!
- If you do come up with 3 different answers and each seem to “weigh” the same in your mind, you’ll discover that you’re looking for more than you realized. If this is the case, it’d certainly explain why this dream is recurring. You’re looking for more than one answer.
- When coming up with the 3 (and remember there may only be 1 or 2), DON’T force it. If you have to pause and think, the answer isn’t that important to your subconscious mind. The answer(s) that really matter will come to you almost immediately.
More about Recurring Dreams in the next post.
What Do These Disturbing Dreams Mean?
One of the most frequently requested dream interpretations on our dream blog had to do with dreaming about lost loved ones. For the month of June, the top 3 dream interpretation requests were for:
- dreams about lost loved ones, family members, friends…
- dreams about exes
- dreams about snakes TIED with Dreams about knives
I wasn’t too surprised with the requests, to be honest. These subjects are typically the ones I hear the most. I was a little surprised that “knife dreams” tied with snake dreams, though. They’re moving up in the ranks of disturbing dreams!
Dreams about loved ones who’ve died can sometimes be comforting and even enjoyable. I like to think of these dreams as our mind’s way of keeping our loved ones alive. We get to see their faces again and even spend time with them once more.
Why we dream about lost loved ones varies from one dream to the next. Sometimes we dream about them simply because we talked about them recently or thought about them that day. I recently had a dream about my mother-in-law for this very reason. She showed up in my dream because one of my daughters and I had been talking about her that very day. My daughters were pretty young when she died, so I like to keep her name and memory alive by talking about her. She was quite a character and I like for them to know that!
The dream was not disturbing in any way. She was simply eating supper with us. When I woke up, I couldn’t help but realizing that she looked EXACTLY like I remember her looking. She was even wearing the type of top (loud and floral!), pants, and shoes she always wore.
Some dreamers have similar dreams about their loved ones and wonder if the dreams mean something “deep” or “disturbing.” More times than not, they simply mean your mind is keeping their face in your life – and if you think of your dreams this way, they’ll disturb you less.
However, some dreams about lost loved ones ARE dark and unsettling. Our loved one may be in trouble, crying, or need our help – help that we’re often unable to give. Many experts believe that these dreams indicate that we have unresolved emotions surrounding their death – usually guilt of some kind. The thing about guilt is that 9 times out of 10 it’s completely unjustified. Oftentimes this “guilt” is very unrealistic and if we stand back and look at it rationally, we’ll realize there’s no way we could have possibly saved them.
Rather than guilt about their death, some dreamers feel guilty about how they treated them when they were alive. They’ll have ridiculous thoughts such as, “I should have spent more time with them…. I should have called him/her more…” These thoughts can lead to disturbing dreams My advice to anyone with these thoughts is to realize that if THEY had died in place of the loved one, the loved one would have probably had the same guilty thoughts. We NEVER feel like we did enough for a lost loved one. Ever. That’s just how it is.
Other times, unsettling dreams about lost loved ones may have more to do with us than them. We may feel that we’re developing some of the habits or traits they had or we may fear going down a road they went down. Sometimes fear of developing a disease the loved on had will cause disturbing dreams.
To keep your dreams about lost loved ones as light as possible, try to dwell on positive, happy thoughts about their life and push thoughts about their death, illness, and so forth out of your mind. It’s how they’d want it after all!
Finally, in times of stress, we may dream about a loved one simply because we associate them with a simpler, easier time. Very often, they represent the past to us and, let’s be honest, the past almost always looks simpler – even if it really wasn’t.
As for our loved ones “trying to warn us about something,” my first instinct is to say NO WAY. However, in a sense, this could be sort of possible. As I’ve said many times on Dream Prophesy, dreams are not (in and of themselves) prophetic. BUT, some people are much, much, much more intuitive or “in touch” with the world around them than others. These people can often “sense”danger because they are so incredibly in tune with everything and everyone around them. People like this often have dreams that seem “prophetic” simply because they are so uncommonly in touch with the world around them. They often “see” things other people don’t see and, therefore, their subconscious mind is able to sense perceived danger and potentially harmful situations.
If you are an overtly intuitive person, your dreams may, in fact, be somewhat prophetic in nature. Your subconscious mind may, indeed, use a lost love one to get its point across. And what better way than to get your attention than with a lost loved one?