Dr. Dream

Your dreams, on the couch.

Dr. Dream is a new feature that debuts next month for paid subscribers to WOODRUFF. This is a beta version.

SEND ME YOUR DREAMS and I will share my impressions with you in this column.

Disclaimer: Dreams can never be accurately interpreted by another person (only you have access to the heart of your dream’s message or meaning.)

Still, it is fun to see how another person responds to your dream’s narrative.

I read where Carl Jung would regularly share his dreams with an old man that worked as a gardener on his estate. Jung said that the gardener’s interpretations were so ‘off’ that it helped him tune in to what his unconscious was actually sharing in his dream.

That is an example of a good way to have conversations about dreams; understanding that the meaning you hope to unearth will usually come about in a way that isn’t logical or sequential.

Email me your dream and please note if you want your name mentioned in the Dr. Dream column. Not all submissions will be published.

Again, this is a beta version of Dr. Dream and the new column will appear regularly starting next month for paid subscribers to WOODRUFF.
Special thanks to my friends who submitted their dreams to me last month, in preparation for this column.

Dear Dr. Dream

Last night my sister and I saw a movie about a family that lived on a farm and then I had a dream that night where I was raising chickens in my backyard. The dream was nice until the very end. I was carrying a dozen eggs into my kitchen but I accidentally dropped the basket and all of the eggs broke open on the floor. Can movies influence our dreams at night? And what about all of the eggs that I cracked open?

Dee., Seattle, Wa.

Dear Dee

To answer your first question, yes, movies influence our dreams. When you think about it, dreams and movies are identical. They are both animated light shows that we watch passively, free from our command and control. We learn from movies as we learn from our dreams. Calamities in dreams often indicate a breakthrough of some sort. Broken eggs and ‘breakthrough’—see what I mean? Often, for women—because of their ability to give birth to tiny human beings—eggs become potent symbols of power. When the very first instant cake mix appeared on the market in 1930 it was a failure. This was remedied by instructing women to put an egg into the powdery mix before baking the cake up for their husbands. Suddenly cake mix sales were booming. The egg was associated with the mother’s life-giving powers. The cracked eggs in your dream might indicate that you are preparing to mix things up and strike out in a surprising direction—to give birth to something new. It can also indicate that you are no longer interested in playing a role that is culturally considered ‘feminine’. My suggestion is to take stock of your life at this time and see how it might benefit from a more spontaneous approach. And remember, a bunch of broken eggs can make for a fabulous omelet.

Dear Dr. Dream

I’m not sure what to make of this. In the dream, I was walking around town with my purse, and when I went to pull something out of my bag I noticed that liquid makeup foundation had spilled out all over the bottom of the purse and made a big mess. What the hell?

Tara S., Vashon, Wa.

Dear Tara,

Bette Midler once said that if she ever had the chance to meet the Queen of England the first thing she was going to ask her was: “What’s in that purse?”  Purses contain not just valuables but private mysteries related to identity, the image one has of herself. When an ‘accident’ happens to a purse—damage or theft—that event can mark a turning point where the owner of the purse begins to assess what is most valuable in her life—and what is not. Because makeup was involved, a substance that we use to conceal as well as beautify, the dream could be saying that full exposure is necessary to accomplish the edits and changes you desire at this time. The dream is preparing you to speak your truth—without embellishments or ambiguity.

Dear Dr. Dream

I don’t like insects. Except for butterflies. Lately, I have had a dream with a lot of ants scurrying about. I don’t even know where they are exactly or what they are doing because in the dream my face is right up close to the busy ant hive. I am just watching all of the ants move around on the ground and that’s it. What do all of these ants mean for me?


Dear Anonymous,

It’s true, no one likes to encounter insects in dreams, and so I understand your aversion. But small tiny hive insects like ants and bees are a universal image in dreams; and also fairy stories and folk tales. Whenever dreams offer ‘close up’ arrangements, as you described, the message is: “Pay attention! Really look at this!” Many dream guides see insects as being symbolic of human nature’s most primitive instinctual drives. The kind of impulses that keep us alive—the urge for security, safety, and survival. Ants work together for a common aim, so this dream might be suggesting that you bring more cooperation into your life. IOW: What can you achieve by working with others that will help strengthen your sense of comfort and security? It’s said that over time a colony of ants can move a huge mountain, and this is the kind of encouragement the ants might be imparting to you through the dream imagery. Complex situations can change via small concentrated and cooperative efforts. Good luck!


Email your dreams directly to me. If you don’t want your name mentioned please note so in your email. Not all dreams submitted will be published.

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