Dream Symbols

There is more to dreaming than we realize. Sometimes they can be such intense experiences, so vivid and clear that we just KNOW they are signaling something to us from deep within our subconscious minds. Dreams can sometimes be so lucid that we remember them for days, yet so often their meanings are shrouded in symbols that we really have to search deep to decipher their meanings. LILLIAN TOO shares some of her thoughts on dream interpretations with us.

For dream interpretations to be accurate one needs to focus on the ONE feature that stands out most while simultaneously recalling other elements that made the dream vivid or memorable. Seven years ago I had a special dream. I dreamt of white tigers and upon waking up in the morning, I knew instantly the dream was a sign of some kind. It stayed vivid in my mind for days.

In my dream, I was with Jennifer and I said to her, “Look darling – a white tiger. Neither of us were afraid and that was strange. Suddenly the tiger sprung down in front of us, jumping from the branch of large tree and I said, “Wow, he is beautiful”. Then Jennifer said “Look Mummy, there is another one…” and she pointed at the tree again and sure enough there was another white tiger high up on the tree.

No one could tell me the meaning of that dream. It was a year later after I had met my spiritual guru, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, that I discovered the meaning of that dream. He presented me with a thangka, a Tibetan painting of Buddha. The Buddha was seated on a throne and in front of the throne I saw were paintings of two white snow lions… and I realized my dream had been not of tigers but of snow lions and they heralded the arrival of my guru into my life.

Since then I have been fascinated by the prophetic nature of dream symbols and have come to realize that the greater the conviction one has that a dream is prophetic, the more meaning it conveys. Here are some dream situations that could be omens of some kind.


Dreaming of accidents indicate a deep-seated worry about something. It suggests that in your worry you are overlooking something else that requires your attention so it is your inner most mind shaking you to look at something you have overlooked or are overlooking. If your dream has you involved in an accident, it indicates you might be worried about something being wrong with your body. Do go for a medical check up.



If you dream of being unfaithful to your spouse, it indicates that you must be careful about confiding in someone. Be wary of new friends coming into your life. They could betray your trust. If you dream of being tempted to have an affair but did not, it means you will allow an opportunity coming into your life to pass you by.


Dreaming of planes in flight indicate your creative mind working overtime. If you were the pilot, you are in command of your situation, and it means you have the freedom and ability to soar upwards and outwards. It is a good dream. If you were a passenger, it suggests some news coming into your life that could quite significantly change your attitude about something or someone.


Dreaming of wild animals heralds good news about your business. Placid animals are good omens unless they are threatening you or fighting amongst themselves. Such a scenario suggests misunderstandings arising within the work place. Dreaming of one’s pets usually has little prophetic value. But dreaming of running horses means you will outpace the competition.


Dreaming of your worries or of situations that occupy your mind indicate they will soon be resolved, so this is a good sign. Generally, anxiety dreams are not prophetic in nature. They simply reveal the anxious state of your mind.


Dreaming of birds is incredibly prophetic and the news is often beneficial, but how good the good luck coming your way also depends what kind of birds you dream of. Usually the more beautiful and spectacular the bird, the better the indications are. There will be opportunities coming that will make you soar into the skies. Birds in flight suggest you are already in orbit. Birds are believed to be the messengers of the Gods or of the higher inner self. They usually bring good news that in some way prepares you for greater fame and glory. Birds also suggest recognition and great fame. They herald the blossoming of your own creative impulses.

Bride / Bridegroom

Dreaming of brides suggest purity of intention. If you were the bride (or bridegroom) it suggests some hidden wish becoming fulfilled. If you dream that you kissed a bride, it means an inheritance is coming your way and if you dream of catching the bride’s bouquet, it suggests that you should rethink your life’s priorities.


Bright colours in your dreams indicate happiness in general. There is joyousness in the air. But if any of the following colours dominate, note the meanings:

  • Blue indicates you will get out of your difficulties and problems.
  • Black suggests triumph over difficulties.
  • Red indicates a loss of temper, but can also mean danger.
  • Green indicates overseas travel.
  • Orange suggests situations getting postponed.
  • Pink indicates unusual success.
  • Purple suggests happiness in store.
  • Yellow indicates the way ahead.
  • White indicates success in everything.


This is the most famous of the contrary dreams where the meaning is the exact opposite of what it suggests. Dreaming of death indicates a letting go and rejuvenation of life. So death suggests a transformation and the need to be brave, and to revitalize yourself.


Dreaming of funerals always indicate a watershed in one’s life – funerals suggest a “letting go” of something – perhaps an attitude, an old relationship or situation. The dream is advising you to walk out of an old situation. Dreaming of funeral is also a warning against succumbing to temptation.


Dreaming of a fight often suggests some hidden grievance that must be resolved – otherwise when it does surface it could explode.


Dreaming of fire always means success if you are looking at the fire from a distance – then the larger the fire, the brighter will be your success. Fire also lays bare your deepest emotions suggesting a release and a letting go of your anger or your hidden passion. This is a good dream.



Dreaming of flowers is generally a good omen suggesting happiness. Flowers are symbolic of beauty.


Dreaming of frogs is a good omen. In fact dreaming of frogs is usually prophetic of a sudden windfall of cash coming into your life. It is the same as dreaming of red bats. Frogs should be green in your dream as these are the good fortune frogs.


This dream is telling you are dissatisfied with your life and that something is missing. If you have recurrent dreams about food, you should give in and indulge yourself. Give yourself a hearty meal and blow the diet for a day at least.


Dreaming of a killing or of death suggests rejuvenation, a rebirth. It is prophesizing that you can successfully shrug off an old attitude, or an old expectation. A negative indication of this dream is that your lack of courage could well get you into trouble.


If you dream of being kissed by someone, it suggests a romantic liaison of some kind. Be alert to your feelings. If you see yourself smiling with pleasure, the omens are favourable. Feelings of ambivalence usually suggest eventual disenchantment.


Climbing a mountain indicates some sort of quest or project is coming your way. Successfully reaching the top indicates success. Mountains also indicate a need to overcome some major obstacles that stand in your way. Such dreams usually mean you should prepare yourself for something big that’s coming into your life. How things work out depends on you and how you react. Not everyone likes to climb a mountain.


Dreaming of being nude suggests you have a secret and you worry about being discovered. If you dream of catching someone naked it means you will uncover a plot, or find out about a secret that was not disclosed to you. Dreaming about it suggests your inner consciousness somehow suspects some deceit is at hand.


Dreaming of being “frozen” is a common dream. It suggests a feeling of impotence, of helplessness in the face of some situation. Maybe it is better to lie low for a while.


When you dream that you are running away from something, it suggests a deep-seated fear of some kind. It also means being overwhelmed by a situation or by a person. The best way to overcome such fears is to try to turn round and confront whatever or whoever you are running away from.


Dreaming of snakes means a warning of some kind. Snakes are said to be secret guardians. If the snake gets killed in your dream, it is bad omen, so you must be wary.


This indicates the tangled web you weave coming back to haunt you. Spiders generally suggest bad luck and if you dream of spiders being killed, it means your troubles will be overcome and resolved soon.


Finally, a dream of water is an excellent sign. Dreaming of a waterfall indicates material wealth coming to you. In fact, any kind of water flow indicates enhanced income. Dreaming of a calm lake or a great expanse of water is a good sign especially if the water is clean. Dirty water suggests danger. If you dream of going fishing, it means you are about to set out on an important business venture. If you dream of successfully catching fish, it is a good omen.