Hello all,

I'll jump straight in. Over the Christmas holidays, my fiancée and partner of nearly 8 years left me for someone else. As you may expect, I've not been having the best of times. I've been on an emotional roller coaster and have found it extremely difficult to cope.

The other night I had a very strange dream. I'm not actually sure whether I was awake or asleep. I was aware of the bedroom around me, but at the same time felt as though I was deep in sleep. I dreamt (or whatever you want to call it) that there had just been an earthquake, and I could hear the neighbours in the adjoining apartments screaming. I had it in my head that I absolutely had to get off the bed and crawl under it to safety. However, when it came to it, I couldn't move a muscle. I was laid on the bed, completely convinced there was an earthquake occurring, but I was paralysed.

I mentioned this to a family member who is... very spiritual. I'm not in the slightest, before you ask ;)
Of the things she does, including tarot card readings and astrology (... sorry for the swear word!), she interprets dreams. From what I told her, she concluded this:

Your dream would suggest that you feel helpless to change circumstances in a situation in your life. You also feel emotionally paralysed! There are indications that the only solution for the moment, is to put the situation *to bed* and attempt to find new ways of social relaxation to restore your emotional balance. To dream of an earthquake tells us that you are experiencing a major "shake-up" that is threatening your stability and foundation. The dream highlights your insecurity, fears and sense of helplessness. It would further suggest that you are blaming yourself for this unhappy situation.

Now I'm very curious if there's likely to be any truth behind this. One part of me is thinking, this is just like astrology - you try to make your personal circumstances fit around what has been written. But another part of me is curious if there have been any studies / research in this field, and what the outcomes were. Can dreams really reflect your deepest emotions?

What is your own opinion?

Thanks guys :)


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Well that's got me told!

Spiders are an excellent example. Dreams can certainly have meanings (some are quite obvious) but how could dreaming of spiders ever mean the same to an arachnologist as it meant to someone with arachnophobia?

Dream interpretation is absolutely no different than tarot card reading or astrology.

Aye, after reading the quote from your family member, it sounds just like astrology: vague and easily applicable to virtually anything.

Not that I'm an expert, but I think psychology would be a much better avenue to persue dream interpretation, and even then, it would better help to understand the feelings behind adream, rather then any alleged symbolism. There are only so many commonalities from one person's psyche to another's.

Sounds like you had a waking dream.  As a PTSD sufferer, I have them all the time.  That would be why you felt paralyzed and unable to move - although your mind was partially awake, your body was suffering from a self-imposed paralysis designed to keep you from walking in your sleep and clawing your own eyes out and falling out of bed.

As for the meaning of your dream - it probably means you are afraid of being unable to rescue yourself in an earthquake.  I imagine most people living in earthquake country have such a fear and I wouldn't at all be surprised if many, if not most, of them who experience waking dreams have had the same or similar dreams.

I agree that this sounds like sleep paralysis. In this state, you can continue to dream or, even more interestingly, become aware of your surroundings and hallucinate on top of them while finding yourself unable to move or scream. I used to have these experiences frequently. They can be absolutely terrifying. Through self-hypnosis I learned how to wake myself up from this state.

Once your mind is awake enough to realize you can't move, panic sets in, so it's no wonder you dreamed of a situation which would cause panic and would require you to be able to move.

Sounds like you had a hypnogogic dream.


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