I became interested in dreams years ago, so decided a) to take a course on the subject and b) keep a dream diary. I hadn't realized how far back in time, the art of dream interpretation went and how important it was to ancient cultures (and still is today). Ancient Egyptians, for example had "dream" temples and a god Serapis dedicated to dreams. People would visit these temples, and sleep there, hoping to provide answers to their questions. This was called incubation. Aborigines seem to entwine dreaming and waking - past, present and future into one kind of reality. They believed, among many things that their spirit left their bodies during sleep and travelled to meet up with other past, present and future spirits.
Carlos Castaneda - author of many books, claims to have journeyed through astral projection and lucid dreaming to many, real, wonderful and weird places and realities (you really need to read one of his books to get the idea) Many well know psychologists have studied in depth, dreaming and written much about it as an aid to healing and understanding the mind: Alfred Adler, Freud, Jung, Calvin Hall, to name a very few. There are many dream classifications which include:
A type of dream where you are aware it is a dream, and it is though you can actually, consciously direct and guide what you do.
A really bad and distressing episode of sleep which leaves you feeling terrified, anxious and helpless. Even after waking, replays in your mind and is very emotionally frightening.
Dreams which occur over a time, maybe weekly, monthly, yearly, but which is exactly the same each time. Often suggests, there is an unresolved issue in waking life.
A type of dream, where the dreamer seems to dream a perfect solution to a problem, which has bothered and worried them in waking.
Dreaming of an incident before it has happened. A messenger, angel, somebody who has passed over visits you in a dream
It's a very complex, but fascinating subject which spans thousands of years, cultures, people and theories. There are so many considerations when interpreting a dream: how you feel, where you are, time of day, colours, sights, sounds, other characters, people, animals, plants, objects, symbols and so on. The more you can clearly remember and note down the better. It would be a bit of an impossibility to include everything concerning dream interpretations, but gradually, bit by bit I'd like to list some possibilities.
A dark, sad colour. Difficulty in being able to see the light, literally left in the dark. Negative.
Spiritual and inspirational. Maybe the sky's the limit. Optimism.
Earthy materialism. Pleasure. Physical and practical. Down to earth.
Plants, trees, nature. Growth, vitality and health. But also could be envy/jealousy.
Vitality, energy. A feeling of aliveness. Luck. Feeling good about yourself.
Spiritual healing. Mysticism. Also leading rather than following. Being yourself.
Force, passion sexuality, lust. Maybe also anger, rage. Hasty desicion's. A need to pause before acting.
Knowledge. Moon, feelings and sensitivity. Mysteries. A shining example of something.
Peace, happiness, contentment. Unbothered. Spiritual wisdom. A perfect place. Innocence.
Intelligence. A sunny and happy disposition. All is well. But it could also signify unable or unwilling to stand up for yourself.
Confused. Feeling there is a grey area in your life. Depressed, unwell. Apathy. Waiting for the fog to clear.
Health, happy and peaceful feelings. Feminine
Natural healing, sensitivity and psychic. Perhaps pleasant travel
Your emotions, feelings and attitudes have become blocked and a little repressed. No progress in a relationship. Perhaps somebody you love is hiding their true feelings from you.
Mystery, mysticism. Women’s feelings and issues, inner emotions, uncertainty. In some cases deception. The phases of the moon reflect changing moods and emotions surrounding the dreamer and the dream.
Optimism, activity, energy. Things are looking good. A lucky, fortunate symbol. Warm hearted, generous people. Sincere people. Good health. Male issues.
A green meadow, full of wild flowers, may symbolise the need to feel free from something. Be yourself, get back to nature. Be more open. Take note of your health.
Depending how you "feel" in the dream. It may indicate a scary and threatening problem your must face. An unknown path, unsure how to guide yourself through this new experience. A deeper understanding of yourself.
Generally the emotions and the unconscious. Deep waters, oceans and seas are usually deep intense emotions. Muddy, murky waters, confused, unclear feelings about something. Choppy, stormy waters, irrational, erratic emotions. Calm waters, the birth of an idea, women and the feminine side.
A lack of clarity. Feeling lost, unsure, isolated. Maybe deliberately missing the point of something, refusing to accept what is true.
Clear blue sky, aspirations, feeling optimistic and clear. Free from worry. Cloudy sky - things not quite turning out as planned. Overcast and grey may indicate problems, sadness and difficulties. Things have gone wrong.
Walking up a hill is a sign of overcoming problems. Having difficulties walking up the hill may symbolise snags, problems and setbacks, before you get to where you want to be.
Reaching the top of a mountain is success after hard work, effort and determination. However if you reach the top alone, you may have alienated and forgotten your friends and family. It may be a lonely place at the top.
Irritations, snags, difficulties. If you were kicking the stones away you are successfully overcoming these. But if you find it difficult to walk over the stones, you may be feeling these problems in waking life.
May indicate stability, steadiness and a feeling of security. However it could also symbolise a huge problem which as yet, you can’t figure out how to approach and/or get over.
Repressed feelings and passion. However if the volcano erupts, this may indicate these locked in feelings and passions are erupting in an intense manner. (Freudians may favour the obviously sexually explicit interpretation of this)
Hopes and wishes come true. Positivity. Things are getting better, the future is promising. Happiness and good times are ahead.
A sudden inspiration or idea. Awareness of a situation becomes clear. A need for swift action.
May symbolise several things. The inside of the cave may indicate the womb and birth. Emerging from a cave, a life-passage or new phase. Transition. If you are inside a cave, it may be you are in need of safety, security, literally a place to hide away. Or a need to withdraw for a while, to tune into your inner feelings and needs. A subconscious wish. It may also signify a need to bring something out into the open.
Walking through an archway is an optimistic sign of realising your hopes, dreams and ambitions. A fallen, broken or crumbling archway is not so good and may mean your wishes and dreams will not be fulfilled.
An obstacle of some kind is stopping you and making you hesitate. Keeping something in (trapped or inhibited) or something out of your life. Looking over a fence may indicate you wish you could be less inhibited, more free-thinking.
Crossing a bridge, a life change, transition of some kind. Moving from one cycle or situation to another. How you cross the bridge, may indicate how you will, or have been coping with this change.
Could indicate the need to defend yourself against something/someone in waking life. The castle, being your place of security and safety.
A closed door, something hidden, secret, concealed. An open door and stepping through, opportunities, a new phase, direction. A door closing, losing a chance. Unlocking with a key, a key to mysteries, life etc.
Perhaps indicates a need to pay more attention to your present health. Overcoming/recovering from a health problem.
Indicates the dreamer - their character, emotional and physical state (rooms within the house have their own symbolism). So how does the house look, for example outside? Does it seem welcoming, derelict, newly painted, neglected? Do you feel happy, threatened, uneasy, sad, nostalgic? Is the inside warm, cosy, light, dark, cold, scary?
The need maybe to search for a new direction, path, meaning in your life. Needing some new ideas, inspiration, and suggestions. Perhaps you need to be more open and aware of life in general.
Maybe just a simple case of travelling, meeting somebody? Missing a train, missing a chance. If it is crowded you may feel too many other people are telling/advising you what to do and confusing you. You need space, to do what you feel is best.
Being back at school may indicate a need to re-learn something. Or learn from a past mistake. A learning curve, experience. It may suggest authority. Or are you anxious, nervous or stressed about how you're performing at something now?
Watching animals in cages, enclosures etc. may represent - keeping your own instincts, feelings, and urges under control. Perhaps repressed. Or perhaps you feel caged, cornered, stuck yourself. Also depends very much on the type of animal which you are observing.