Analyzing our dreams is an excellent way to learn what our Unconscious wants to say to us. In her book, Steering by Starlight, Martha Beck suggests a wonderful method for analyzing dreams.
The first step of Martha’s method is to keep a dream journal. It’s important to record your dream as soon after waking as possible. It’s also important to be as detailed as you can.
The second step is to make a list of every person, animal, object, action, and place in your dream. I will refer to these items as symbols.
The third step is to act out the part of each symbol you’ve listed. In Steering by Starlight, Martha writes: “Jung believed that every aspect of a dream represents some aspect of the self that has been ‘split off’ from consciousness, and he often used role-playing to help unify the self.” “Role-playing” means taking on the role of, or becoming, the symbol. If, for example, I am analyzing my dream about a lion, I would become the lion. I would think, act, and express myself as the lion, not as Laurie.
Once you have become the symbol, Martha Beck suggests that the symbol be asked the following questions:
Symbol (Lion), what are three adjectives or phrases that describe you? (The lion might respond: I am the lion, and I am golden, wild, and regal.)
Symbol (Lion), what is your purpose? (The lion responds with whatever comes to his mind. He might respond: “I am the lion, and my purpose is to protect all of the other animals in the jungle.”)
Symbol (Lion), how are you trying to help the dreamer (Laurie)? (The lion might respond: “I am the lion, and I am here to keep Laurie safe.”)