What Dreams Mean…

Last night, my friend Jenny and I got together for a night out on the town in Baltimore for what we call our annual “Fa-la-la-la-la Night Before Christmas.” We exchanged gifts and indulged in some wine and delectable food.

At the end of the evening, she gave me a bag of gifts. I love them all, including the beautiful, handcrafted pink necklace she got for me from a local boutique. However, the gift that’s intrigued me the most is a book entitled “10,000 Dreams Explained: How to Use Your Dreams to Enhance Your Life and Relationships” by Pamela J. Ball.

I am digging this text.

I’ve always been fascinated by dreams—I’m sure many of you have been, as well. Think about that dream you had when you woke up and wondered, “Was it real? It was so real!” or that nightmare that made you sit up in the middle of the night and had your heart racing at a million miles per minute. I know I’m not alone here. The question is this: Do our dreams really mean something?

According to Ms. Ball, they mean a great deal and can offer us insight into our present lives. She breaks up the book by items/things that we dream about, and then offers three points of analysis that discuss what the dreams might mean.

For example, I have recurring dreams about tornados. In fact, it’s probably the only real aspect of myself I’ve incorporated into my main character, Annabelle, from my novel Beneath the Mimosa Tree. In my book, I attach my own meaning to why Annabelle has this recurring tornado dream. However, when I read Ms. Ball’s three points on tornadoes, I realized my own assessment was not too far off. At all.

Here’s the excerpt of what she says about tornados: (from the book “10,000 Dreams Explained: How to Use Your Dreams to Enhance Your Life and Relationships” by Pamela Ball)

  1. A tornado appearing in a dream is a symbol of violent energy of one sort or another. Often it is emotions and feelings against which we feel powerless. It is a recognizable symbol of energy which has turned in on itself, and has therefore become destructive.
  2. While a tornado can be very destructive, interestingly, it can also be very cleansing and it is in this context that it is often met on a psychological level. It sweeps all in front of it, but after its passage and initial destructiveness there is the potential for new life.
  3. Our early ventures into spirituality may make us feel powerless, and at the mercy of all the elements. This can be symbolized by the tornado. However, within the centre there is a peace and tranquility.

Interesting analysis. Additionally, it’s not so far off the mark when I consider how and when I usually have a tornado dream. I often experience this dream after I’ve had a disagreement with someone or there is a lot of stress in my life. I have been able to pinpoint that.

She offers explanations on so many different things. Many of my friends have often commented that they have dreams about being late to take a final exam during college, or that they have an all-out freak out because they’ve missed the final entirely. I have other friends who have said they dream about their teeth falling out or losing one tooth in particular. Ms. Ball has explanations for these two as well. (Incidentally, she says teeth are one of the most universally common dreams. As for the tests, she states that it’s about our own self-assessment).


I admit to having experienced both of these types of these dreams. And as I am currently a professor at a university, I now have dreams where I—as a teacher—have forgotten to prepare the final exam and miss the opportunity to give it to my students.

What is that all about?

Luckily, we have Ms. Ball to help us understand dreams and what they mean.

I recently had a dream where I was in a city—I presume it was like New York—only it wasn’t New York, but it was so cool. Very modern, chic. It was a good dream. I had to find my way around, and I was very independent in it. Months later, I dreamed about that same city again. It was exactly as it was the first time around, and is like no city I can explain.

Ironically, “dreaming up something” is what happened to Stephenie Meyer, author of the “Twilight” series. The original story came to her in a dream.

Ah, if I could only be that lucky.

Dreams must be held accountable for something; this book aims to offer readers insight on just what that might be.

So, thanks, Jenny, for the very entertaining Christmas gift. If I ever dream about a pelican, a hole, or a balloon, I’ll look them up to understand what they all mean.

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