Practical dream interpretation guide

A practical dream interpretation guide by OniroTarology

Are you looking for a very practical dream interpretation guide? You are in the right place! In this article you will find a practical dream interpretation guide which is the result of several years of creative work in the field of dream analyisis.

Did you first start keeping track of your dreams? Have you inaugurated your dream journal as I suggested here? This guide to dream interpretation only makes sense if you have at least one archived dream.

I now propose a lineup of five preliminary operations to be carried out to approach the interpretation of a dream. It is a small guide to interpret dreams but very useful for those interested in this world.

1) Imagine the dream as a fairy tale

Let’s start this guide to interpret dreams with the right foot. The first step is to take the dream you transcribed (… you have transcribed it, right? ^ _ ^) and structure it like a fairy tale. In other words, identify the following components:


Who are the main characters? Are they characters you know in real life or are they characters born out of your unconscious? In the dream do you “interpret” yourself or some other character? Are there other players, such as animals?

Where does the dream take place? Is it a fantasy place or a real place like your home? Or the home of your childhood? What is the general atmosphere of the dream? Is it day or night? Is it sunny or rainy? What are the “colors” that would match the dream?

If it was a fairy tale or a story, what title would you give to the dream? It must be an evocative title that reflects the central theme of the dream, as you perceive it.


How does the dream develop? What is the quest your dream ego faces? What is the conflict, the “drama” of the protagonist? And what question mark is raised?


As in every fairy tale, even in the dream the succession of events reaches a climax, the turning point, where the situation gets complicated, the tension is at its peak and the “hero” has to confront a decisive, sudden, “magical” or catastrophic event.

“Lysis” or resolution

It is the conclusion of the fairy tale: an external “deus ex machina” event occurs, or the dreamer takes the situation in hand and confronts / solves it, or the dream simply shows what happens as a result of the circumstance.

Lysis is not always easily identifiable, or sometimes in the dream structure it is lacking: for example the dreamer simply does not take any decision and passively observes the outcome of the action. Running away, or screaming, are still active reactions and may signal a lysis.

In other cases the lysis takes the form of a metaphorical question mark for the dreamer: “will our hero succeed?”

2) Objective events

Ask yourself: how did this dream come about? What happened yesterday or recently that may have impregnated your unconscious?

What elements of the dream reflect what has happened to you or is it happening to you in reality? The dream offers a re-elaboration of real events in the name of “compensation”. If we face reality with a one-sided attitude – for example relying only on feeling – the unconscious will compensate by populating the dream with characters with the opposite function, “thinking”. (To understand what attitude you are “unbalanced”, read the article suggested here and do the test suggested here).

3) Analysis of the dream details

It is the most complex part of the dream, but at the same time the most important and rewarding part, since it is this operation that can reveal the secret of the dream.

It’s about taking all the elements of the dream (characters, actions, symbols, objects, sentences, numbers, …) and isolating them, perhaps writing them on a piece of paper.

Face each element by writing all the associations that come to mind when thinking about it: what it represents for you, where that element is present in your current or past life, what emotions does it arouse?

If an element has an essentially symbolic nature – for example a lion – think about the objective aspects regarding it: what are the objective characteristics of the lion (example: it is a ferocious animal that devours its prey), how would you describe it with the simplest language possible (as if you were to describe it to a child). Make some resarch on how the symbol is present in myths, fairy tales, religious cults, proverbs, etc. Once this effort has been made, it will be clearer to you why the lion falls within the context of the dream!

Another suggestion is to browse your dream log (this is why it is useful to keep a diary!), searching for other dreams where that symbol appeared and in which context.

4) Panoramic view

After going so deep into analyzing every single detail of your dream, take off and fly high, having a panoramic look at all the elements you have put together. Notice how the elements connect together, how they seem to be linked by invisible threads, resounding the same strings.

Try to abstract a general “motif” underlying the dream, a recurring dynamic in your life, a core of unsolved problems to which the dream refers.

In the panoramic view, consider also the series of your dreams (ex: those made in the last week) observing their hidden plot: a dynamic development that links the sequence of dreams, even with different shapes and situations. The dream of tomorrow will probably be the continuation of today’s dream!

5) Columbo‘s evidence

The great Columbo solves his cases by physically reconstructing what happened in the crime scene, noting some details out of place or some attitude of the characters involved that “clashes” with the context. Y

Think of how strange and bizarre things happens in the dream: circumstances in which your conduct would be quite inappropriate if it were a real event, or elements that are “out of place” in a particular context.

For example: you dream of your dining room table without chairs. Wouldn’t it be strange if this happened in real life? What do you need a table without chairs for? How would you feel in reality when you find yourself in front of your table without chairs? What would you think? Who (= which part of you) has hidden the chairs? What metaphor is hiding? What teaching?

You might discover, for example, that you formally invite people to share something with you (a meal, a “nourishment” of some kind, an experience), but, in essence, you don’t allow them to “sit down”, to feel at ease. It is a partial sharing of your world.

Use Lieutenant Columbo method: rebuild and relive the dream scene paying attention to all these strange clues!

Practical dream interpretation guide, final words

I hope this practical dream interpretation guide has been helpful, you just have to dream and … apply it! ^ _ ^

If you are interested in learning more about the OniroTarologia method, the dream interpretation with the Tarot, click here!

Onirotarology: practical dream interpretation guide
Onirotaology: Dreams and Tarot

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