Most dreams are symbolic, meaning the imaginary and scenarios are fantastic, exaggerated or otherwise unrealistic. If you dream of flying without an airplane or having sex with Hugh Jackman, then your dream is symbolic. Symbolic dreams usually originate from your unconscious and illuminate issues about your life.
However, there’s another kind of dream that’s more literal in nature. A literal dream tells you something specific, usually without the weird imagery. This simplicity can make the dream easier to interpret. But first you have to realize it’s a literal dream and pay attention to it. With that in mind, let’s explore the elements of literal dreams, and why recognizing them can be important.
Clues to look for
One way you can tell if a dream might be literal is that it’s short and to the point. Literal dreams seem more like text messages than feature-length films. Also, there’s often an unusual clarity to the dream, which lacks the complex, disjointed scenarios of a symbolic dream. It’s as if your dreaming self knows that getting to the point, quickly and clearly, will enable you to get the message.
Annette from Mesa, Arizona had a short, clear dream that wound up coming true. She dreamed of going back to her childhood neighborhood to search for a house that belonged to her mother’s friend. To her surprise, shortly thereafter, Annette moved back to that same neighborhood. She explains, “At the time, I was toying with the move but didn’t give the idea much merit. Was the dream trying to get me moving in the right direction, or a premonition of things to come?” Perhaps a little of both. Her dream was probably a prompting from her unconscious because she’d already been thinking of moving. But it may have also been a glimpse into her future – which brings us to the different types of literal dreams.
From your unconscious . . .
Literal dreams can originate from your unconscious, Higher Self or through a psychic connection with someone close to you. Here’s an example of an unconscious literal dream. Let’s say that, while in waking life, you saw a nail in your tire when you got out of your car, but it didn’t register consciously. That night you might dream of getting a flat tire while on the road. As it turns out, the dream was a message from your unconscious about a problem that needed to be addressed. Your conscious mind overlooked the nail, but it didn’t escape your unconscious, which provided the warning through a dream.
. . . to otherworldly
Conversely, dreams that come from your Higher Self are soul messages that offer spiritual guidance. Although these dreams can include literal messages, they usually contain imaginary that needs to be interpreted as well. On the other hand, psychic dreams such as premonitions and messages from the dead are usually brief and clear. What’s more, they’re often strikingly vivid and evoke strong feelings in the dreamer. Kelli from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania had such a dream about her dead father. “After my Dad passed away,” she says, “I had a dream about him that seemed so real! In the dream, he hugged me and was very happy – he was laughing out loud and said he was okay. I could feel him when I hugged him. I’ll never forget it, was a wonderful experience. I felt like I was in Heaven, such peace and warm love.” Her dream had the elements of brevity, clarity and profound feelings associated with literal psychic dreams.
Distinguishing between symbolic and literal dreams takes some practice. The key is to pay attention to all your dreams so you can spot any succinct messages that come your way. After all, who is the person who knows you best and has your best interests at heart – you, of course! And that makes your dreams the best source of guidance.