Thursday, February 6, 2014

Dream Iconography

Rudolph the mug deer
Rudolph the mug deer (Photo credit: Renato Pequito)

         The imagery of dreams is frequently considered in terms of symbolism.  However it may be that certain recurring images symbolize different things from dream to dream depending on the context of the dream story or the circumstances in which the dreamer finds themself.   Could certain flexible images be considered iconography that covers a broad spectrum of meanings?

          My dreams will often feature certain people who appear in various dreams playing a variety of roles that influence my thinking in different ways.   Some primary dream figures that I think of in this context would be my old friend Fred who passed away in 1995, my father who passed away in 1990, and my former employer and his son both whom I would consider to have been my bosses when I worked for them and both still living.

         These iconic characters reappear in different dreams that are often very dissimilar in content.  Their appearances can evoke a variety of emotions and thoughts in my mind.   While the characters themselves don't appear to symbolize anything in particular their presences may be symbolic in accordance to the circumstances of the dreams in which they appear.

          To use another example, let's say I frequently dreamed about a favorite coffee mug.   In one dream I am enjoying a beverage from the mug, in another the mug gets broken, in another I see someone else drinking from the mug, and in another I am looking for the mug because it has been misplaced.   Each dream might cause me to have different reactions and emotions.   Maybe the mug symbolizes something or maybe it is a dream icon that becomes an inherent part of my emotional being and my personal history.

        Perhaps the iconic people or things are merely actors and props necessary to tell the dream story.  They do not mean anything symbolically in and of themselves, but they are important to give the dream story meaning and to evoke emotion from me the dreamer.

          The concept of dream iconography is not clearly established in my mind and may be too involved to discuss in a short blog post, but it's an idea that had crossed my mind after a recent dream.  I thought it might be worth airing in a post.

            Do you have repetitive images--people or things--that seem to have different meanings and roles in different dreams?    What do think would be good examples of dream iconography if there were such a thing?    How many dream characters appear repeatedly in your dreams and who are they?

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  1. I still have recurring beach combing dreams, because I love to hunt for treasure probably, and I love glass. If my dream took place in Sandwich or somewhere else on Cape Cod, instead of just small worn pieces, what I was finding included intact vases, perfume bottles, etc. Really beautiful things. I still believe that the ones I had that were set on Cape Cod were telling me that everything I really, truly wanted in life was actually back in my hometown. I don't have the dreams as frequently but every now and then. they are my faves.

  2. A few years ago I had a recurring dream about returning to one of our previous houses, which we apparently still owned and had not completely moved away.

    There would be a hidden door behind piece of furniture. The door opened to an unknown room filled with wonderful antiques.

    I would wake up with feelings of regret.
    Haven't had that dream for a while.

  3. Hey, my friend! (This is Blabbin' Grammy Ruby) We have often talked about dreams before. Since my Sweetie passed away nearly four years ago, I frequently dream about him and going places with him. I came to a realization the other day. In my dreams, I am always with him, then he goes off somewhere and I look for him, but he is nowhere to be found. I believe it is my subconscious telling me that he is really gone. I also quite often dream of going to a house that apparently I had lived in before in my dreams, but when I awaken, I know I have never been there. As for dying, as you spoke of in your blog, there have been times that I knew that if I did, I was tired enough, and ready enough, plus I know of the good place I will be. I will be 81 this May and still have a lot of living I want to do. Wishing you well, dear friend. Ruby

  4. JoJo -- Those sound like wonderful dreams. Wishful thinking and pleasant memories that are peaceful and happy.

    Susan -- That is a very symbolic dream that must have something to do with past regrets and sorrows. I'm sure a lot can be made of this one.

    Grammy --- Maybe these dreams remind us that those who are gone remain with us in many ways--not tangibly, but in memory, emotion, and the way those people have helped shape us into who we are. I hope you have many happy years ahead. You still have a lot of positive to contribute to the world.


  5. If you have dreams and haven't given up on them visit This will keep you on track with your dreams and make them obtainable.


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