SYMBOLS & METAPHORS
The language of dreams is expressed through symbols. Symbols are images that represent the dreamer's energetic state of being. Symbols can portray a person, an object, a group, a process, or an idea. What matters most, however, is the energy that the symbol embodies. If you see a pillar in you dream, for example, it is safe to say that it's a phallic symbol. On a deeper level, however, a pillar is the embodiment of masculine energy. In this regard, a symbol functions as a metaphor for something else.
One challenge we face in dream analysis is the fact that the language of dreams is typically inverted. That is, what you see in your conscious, rational mind represents inverted energy. So, if you see a pillar - which embodies masculine energy - it is the inverted image of the dreamer's otherwise feminine attitude toward the situation at hand. In this regard, the unconscious mind sends symbols that compensate for your conscious state of being. As a rule, inverted symbols do not contradict the conscious mind. Instead, they function as a balance for the conscious mind. Those who are familiar with the signatures of Odu Ifa will notice that what the client sees is an inverted image of what the diviner sees. In the signature above, for example, the client sees Owonrin Ogbe. The diviner, however sees Ogbe Irosun. The symbols are not reversed; they are inverted.
Your conscious mind cannot always accept what you experience in life. Perhaps a loved one has died or you've lost your job or your home has gone into foreclosure. If the experience is too overwhelming, you might go into various levels of denial. Still, your unconscious mind wants to rectify the situation and help you deal with the reality before you. So it sends you symbols that are disguised in ways that you will accept and perhaps even find appealing. The first - and most powerful - experience I had of this was very early in my career. I was woking with an elderly man in Mexico. He told me of nightmares he was having. In the dreams he would sometimes see his brother. Other times, he would see his sister. Both of them had died tragically in different situations. He wanted revenge. But upon further analysis, which included Ifa divination, I discovered that the images were not what they appeared. In reality, they were disguises. In reality, it was his ancient ancestors who were sending symbols that he would easily recognize. They wanted him to sacrifice so that they could rectify the situation for him.
Recently, I dreamt I was in my old house, where I lived with my ex-wife. The climax of the dream was when I got into an argument with a tall Caribbean dread. As the argument escalated I finally exclaimed, "I don't even KNOW you!!!" At that point, he became super indignant... "You don't know ME? You don't know ME??? I'm Rashid!!!" Instantly, I was transported from the house and I found myself outside, near the lake. I started to run down the street and then woke up. Sometimes, a single image can be the fusion of numerous symbols. In this case, a Caribbean dread who was not a rasta, but a Muslim. Upon further investigation, I discovered that Rashid means "the Guide."