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Section 4-4 - Spiritual meaning of the symbols

Spiritual meaning of the symbols
The guides use the universal language of symbolism to communicate with us in meditation and in dreams, to help us understand our experiences or to provide us with information we will need in the future. Our challenge is to recall the symbols upon returning to everyday consciousness. Unless we are attentive, they can quickly evaporate and leave us with a sense of unfinished business.

The process requires tracing back through our thought stream. Sometimes it can be effortless, sometimes it can seem impossible and other times, something will happen hours later that triggers a memory. It is important not to criticise ourselves for being unable to remember, or for failing to understand the message. It takes practice to develop such skills - lots of practice.

Suggested interpretations for the symbols
Suggested interpretations for some symbols are listed below. Be sure to ask your guide for their intended message for you.

Not hearing your guide? Check out how belief systems can prevent communication.

Symbol Spiritual meaning
Actors Our feelings about the person or people being shown can reveal how we feel about some aspect of self or someone with whom we are associated
Animals and pets

Bird

Cat

Dog

Dolphin

Elephant

Fish

Monkey

Snake
Can represent unrecognized thoughts, attitudes and emotions. Is it a creature of the land, sea or air? Is it friend or foe? Does it have a name? What colour is it? What emotions are felt? Does it speak to you?

Bird
Looking for a new spiritual truth, freedom, or could be a stagnant belief system, imprisonment

Cat
Healthy, interdependent relationship, or a co-dependent relationship in which one or the other must always be in control

Dog
Friend, or danger of betrayal

Dolphin
Joy, or stifled spirit

Elephant
A secret was revealed and nothing bad happened, or everyone is trying to keep from talking about the terrible thing that everyone already knows

Fish
Spiritual food, or having a false belief system that one stubbornly maintains to be true

Monkey
Is someone behaving like a child?

Snake
Feeling at peace with self, or belief that one is "bad" and has been condemned by God; that forgiveness is not possible
BloodSubstance that transports the vibrations of our thoughts, attitudes, emotions, beliefs and desires to each component of our physical body. Can represent our innermost desires, or can be a message that one is behaving like a victim or a martyr
Bracelets, hoop earrings and rings Can represent the cycles of life, unity of purpose, communication, or can represent feeling trapped in a never-ending cycle of negativity
Bridges, doors and gates Can represent connections, possibilities, transitions, etc. What is the colour and condition? Are they functional? Can show that there is a way to connect with whatever is on the other side - one must only be truly willing to take the steps. See doors
Cardinal directions

North

South

East

West
Represent the direction our life is taking, or where one seeks information

North
Looking up, to Source, to God, to the Universal Intelligence, looking to spirit

South
Looking down, looking away from Source, looking to physical, looking to self or others

East
Looking to the right. If right-handed, this is the correct direction to take

West
Looking to the left. If left-handed, this is the correct direction to take
ClothingCan represent our spiritual belief systems. What style is being worn? What colours are being worn? Is it new or old, clean or dirty, bought, borrowed or stolen? What are the shoes like? Hat? Gloves? Socks? Underwear? See nudity, silent rebellion
Coins Can represent change. Can also represent metal, mettle, medal or meddle. Do we have some or need some, or were coins found or lost?
Columns Represent support, or lack thereof
DarknessCan represent the unknown, the unconscious. What feelings are being felt in the dream, and upon remembering the dream?
DeathCan represent a deceased loved one (or hated one!). Can also represent potential or required change. Can be preparation for the eventual so as to eliminate fear, or to show that dread is present. Can show that a big change has happened or is about to happen
Doors

Closed

Locked

Open

Unlocked
Note whether open or shut, locked or unlocked. Are we inside or outside of it? Does it have a window?

Closed
Can show that we are unable or unwilling to open the door to new possibilities

Locked
Can represent our desire to hide something, or to hide from something, or can be used to show that someone is preventing us from gaining access to something, or that the time is not yet right for taking the next step. Do we have the key? If so, does it work?

Open
Can show that new options, new possibilities are now available

Unlocked
Can show that the time is right for taking the next step
Elevators Can represent a sudden change in how we feel about ourselves. Better? Worse? More - or less - balanced? What style is the elevator? Old, new, express (where the lower floors are skipped)?
Emotions What emotions were felt while the dream was taking place? What emotions are felt as the dream is recalled?
Escalators Can represent a gradual change in how we feel about ourselves. Better? Worse? More balanced?
Food Can represent our spiritual diet, either what it is or what it needs to be. Is the food fresh or spoiled? Junk or nutritious? What colours are shown?
FlyingCan show us that we are feeling free, or that we are needing to free ourselves of something, or that everything is going well
Gardens, plants, shrubs, treesCan represent growth or lack thereof. Can show the need to look for the root cause of an issue
Genitalia and sexual intercourseCan represent communication or reproduction. Is communication occurring? Is communication being withheld?
Glass(cup, mug, drinking glass, window) If a drinking vessel, can represent how we are absorbing our spiritual lessons. Is the container clean? Clear? Coloured? Dirty? Cracked? If broken, can show that a change has happened or is about to happen. If stepping or walking on broken glass, can show that our life path is filled with pain and needs to be swept clean
HospitalsCan show inner conflict, unhealthy belief systems, unrecognized emotional pain. Are you the patient, a visitor or a caregiver? What is the room like? Who is present or missing? Is the lighting bright or dim, is it day or night?
HotelsCan represent a "facility" (check definition in a dictionary or on-line and ask your guide which meaning applies). Can show that we feel like a guest in our own home (not accepting ownership or responsibility)
Houses

Attic

Basement

Bedroom

Kitchen

Living room
(and rooms therein) Can represent where we live spiritually or physically. Can also represent our physical body. Is it a house from the past? Is it familiar? Is it in good repair? What is its street number?

Attic
Where we store stuff. Is it clean or cluttered?

Basement
The unconscious. Is it clean or cluttered? Is the lighting bright or dim?

Bedroom
Where we communicate. Is the bed being used, is it made or unmade, is someone in it, is the wrong person in it? Is communication taking place?

Kitchen
Where we prepare and eat our spiritual food. Is the food fresh or spoiled? Is it junk food?

Living room
Where we live. What emotions are felt? What condition is it in? What is the furniture like? What is the light source?
KeysCan represent a core belief system, a plan, a creative idea. Do we have the key? Is it functional? Has it been lost or stolen? If stolen, could be a warning. Is the key new or old? What metal is it: brass, gold, nickel, silver? What colour is it?
Light images(candles, flashlights, lamps, sun, moon, stars, incandescent, regular or fluorescent light bulbs, lighting in a room, etc.) Can represent God's unconditional love or enlightenment. Are we moving toward or away from the light source? If lighting is dim, can indicate that more understanding is required. If bright, can show that enlightenment has been achieved or is available. What emotions are being felt?
MirrorsCan represent how we see ourselves, or how we think others see us. If broken, can show a need for some serious changes, or can mean that we need to recognize some change(s) we have made
Modes of communication(books, computers, flags, newspapers, radios, telegraph, telephones, televisions) Communication is either required or not recommended. If communication is required, with whom is it required and what subject needs to be discussed? If not recommended, why?
Modes of transportation(bicycles, cars, buses, trains, boats, planes) Can represent the way in which we travel our spiritual path, or our physical body. What is its state of repair? To whom does it belong? How fast is it moving? Is it travelling recklessly or controlled? Buses and trains can be used to represent work or vacation
MoneyCan represent how we feel about ourselves or our financial situation. In the dream, do we have some or need some, borrowed or loaned, donated or stolen, gambled away or won, spent foolishly or hoarded? See losing belongings, purse
Music and song lyrics

Genres

Song lyrics

Going Home
Whatever the style of music, it can hold a symbolic meaning for us:

Genres
  • Classical
    There is a vast intelligence in the Universe, even if we cannot see it
  • Rhythm and blues
    We may be suffering an unrecognized loss
  • Rock and roll
    May have a rebellious attitude
  • Traditional
    We have - or have not - embraced traditional teachings

Song lyrics
Can help us understand some aspect of ourselves or our experiences. If lyrics repeat throughout the day, there is a message in them that we are not quite grasping. Meditate to find the message

A couple of suggestions for Going Home music:
Nudity Can represent how we feel about self. Is there shame or discomfort? Is there privacy? Who else is present?
PeopleCan represent aspects of ourselves. Can also represent unresolved issues within ourselves. Who is being shown? A parent/caregiver can represent love / withholding of love, support / control, the old days or the old ways, etc. If the person being shown is no longer alive, the Universe is using our knowledge of the individual to show us something about ourselves
Places of education (schools, universities, libraries, museums, archives)  Can represent a lesson. What needs to be learned, researched, uncovered, dug up? What is needed to complete the lesson? If late for class or an exam, could be showing an unresolved issue or a negative behaviour like absenteeism
Places of worshipCan be used to show us how we feel about our relationship with our Creator, or that we have a religious belief that disagrees with the Universal Truth about a current life issue
Police(can also be courtrooms, judges) Can represent either human or spiritual laws. What emotions are felt? Is someone being charged with an offense? Is someone testifying for or against someone? If so, who is it and what do they represent?
Purse(can also be wallets, briefcases, luggage) Can represent wealth or security, a cherished belief system, baggage of unresolved issues or unrecognized issues about career. Is it with you or has it been left behind? Is it heavy or easy to carry? Has it been stolen? See losing belongings
Root vegetables(beet, carrot, potato, turnip, etc.) Can represent unrecognized belief systems or buried memories. The vegetable's health and condition can reveal how we feel about the belief or memory
SnowCan represent a need for rest and relaxation, or for looking within. Could mean that a relationship is about to change, or that a difficult issue needs to be (or has been) resolved
TeethRepresent our ability/inability to process life's experiences and to tolerate information that goes against our beliefs or desires. If teeth are missing, can show that a big change has happened or is about to happen
Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO's)Can show that we have a new recognition of the Universal Intelligence, or that there is a design for our spiritual path. Are we fighting it?
WalkingCan represent how we walk our spiritual path. Do our feet get tangled? Are we running freely? Limping? Using a cane or crutches? Unable to walk?
Washroom facilitiesCan show that something needs to be released, or that an issue with our releasing process needs to be examined. Are the facilities clean and in good repair? Is releasing taking place? Is there difficulty in releasing? Is there a door for privacy? If so, is the door in good repair or broken? Is the lighting bright or dim?
Water images (river, pond, lake, ocean, swimming pools, etc.) Can represent spirituality. Is the water cold or warm, clear or muddy, torrential or calm? What colour is it? If a river, is it flowing in the correct direction?
WindowsCan represent how we look at the world, how we think the world sees us, or how much "light" we let in. Are we on the inside or the outside of the window? Are the windows clean or dirty, smudged or smeared, small or large, operational or stuck shut, old or new, boarded up or covered? If broken, can show that something has happened or is going to happen that could drastically change our viewpoint. See glass
WorkplaceCan represent our spiritual path. Are you working? How do you feel about your work? What is your position? Where is the boss? Who is the boss? What are your feelings for the boss? Boss can represent God, a person or an idea. What is being bought or sold? What is on display? If other employees are present, who are they, how do you feel about them, what are they doing? What are you doing?

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© Copyright: Sheila A. McBeath 1999-2022  
All Rights Reserved     ISBN  978-1-7753521-2-9
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