As many of you may know, I’m a frequent guest on Dr. Oz. He is fascinated by the way the subconscious dreaming mind works, especially in relation to our health. In my most recent appearance, I explained how our dreams are like a second brain that, instead of focusing on what is going on around us, it focuses on what is going on inside of us and will often give us messages about our our body and our health before any symptoms appear.
In my research, I’ve found that there are three main symbols that seem to be commenting on our health… often warning us about what may be going wrong. These symbols are the snake, the horse and the house. Certainly there are other symbols that are specific to each individual but these symbols seem to pop up the most when our dreams want to advise us about our bodies. So let’s explore them a little deeper. The following is an excerpt from my latest book Dream On It, Unlock Your Dreams Change Your Life…
The snake For as long as I have been studying and researching dreams, I am still surprised how often snakes slither into the collective dreamscape. Snakes evoke fear in most of us, even to the point of phobia! They have sharp teeth, a demonic forked tongue. They can strike at lightning speed and inject you with their poison. Shudder.
Because of these widely-feared characteristics, the dreaming mind often uses a snake to represent the dangerous, venomous behavior of yourself, or more often of someone close to you who is typically male. Yes, the phallic shape of the snake plays a big role in its meaning.
Interestingly enough, snakes in a dream can also signify the onset of emotional or physical healing. The connection can be found in the Caduceus, the symbol for medicine, which is two snakes wrapped around a winged staff. We’ve grown accustomed to seeing this symbol on the side of ambulances, in pharmacies and in hospitals and therefore it is embedded in our subconscious that snakes equal healing. Shelley’s dream below is a great example of the duality of the snake symbol.
I’ve had several dreams about snakes lately. In the first dream I was trying to get away from a multi-colored poisonous snake. It kept striking at me, but never bit me. A few nights ago, I dreamed I was riding my bike and was being pursued by a snake that kept trying to strike at my ankles. – Shelley 42
Lauri: Is there a man in your life that is causing you problems? Or is there a physical or emotional issue you are trying to heal from? The bicycle in your second dream leads me to believe you are trying to balance both of these issues. The fact that the snake never bites is an indication that there is no resolution to either.
Shelley replies: Yes and yes! There are issues with my spouse and I am also trying to heal from health and emotional issues: narcolepsy, depression, arthritis and a variety of other things that give me low energy. I feel like my husband punishes me for being ill. He walks away from me when I’m grieving the recent loss of my father. He threatens to get rid of our pets just to get a reaction out of me. He seems to enjoy upsetting me. I could continue on and on, but I think you get the idea.
Shelley’s healing has yet to begin because her husband’s behavior only aggravates her illness and her illness only aggravates her husband. She is in a vicious, poisonous cycle and her wise inner mind will continue to nag her with snake dreams until she puts a stop to it, one way or the other. Believe it or not, despite the fearful element of a snake in a dream, a snake bite is a good sign that healing, whether it be emotional or physical, is underway. Think of a snake bite in a dream as an injection of healing serum.
The horse When looking at a horse, it’s hard not to respect it as the mighty and noble beast that it is. And when riding a horse, it’s hard not to feel somewhat powerful and “high on your horse” as you control the muscular steed with just a tug of the reins or a gentle kick to its sides. Sturdiness, reliability, strength and nobility; these characteristics will show up in our dreams in the form of a horse when circumstances call upon us to behave this way in waking life. But the horse can also show up in our dreams when we need to grab the reins on our health.
Virgil’s dream below not only shows us how a horse represents strong, noble, determined behavior, but can also represent ones health. Remember the old saying, “I’m as healthy as a horse?” Yep, it certainly applies here.
I am sitting in my backyard when I see my childhood horse, Blaze, sauntering up to the table. He snorted and nudged me until I grabbed the reins and walked with him. We went down to the river and he showed me a campfire which had burned out. In the ashes was a small, tin box. He kept nudging me with his head. I picked up the box. Inside was a shining key. I put the key in my hand and I was flying.– Virgil 56
Lauri: Like the campfire, have you “burned out”? Or has some project or relationship been extinguished? Your horse is most likely your inner strength and your health and they are urging and nudging you to get your energy level back up to where it should be so you can reignite that project or relationship. I think your dream may be showing you that “the key” is to realize that you CAN “rise above” the situation, get back in the saddle and get your life “off the ground again.”
Virgil replies: I am burned out from working hard and recovering from a bad accident. I am basically fully recovered from the accident but, it really “burned me out.” I do feel my inner strength pointing me in new directions. Understanding this dream really made me think about my possibilities.
Virgil’s dream not only shows us how a horse represents strong, noble, determined behavior, but can also represent ones health. Remember the old saying, “I’m as healthy as a horse?” Yep, it certainly applies here. Virgil’s dream was letting him know that he was healthy as a horse again after his accident and that it’s time to stop worrying, saddle up and persevere.
The house Our dream homes say a lot about us, probably more than any other dream symbol. The dreaming mind uses the home in order to show you yourself, your state of mind and even your body in the form of a physical structure so you can better understand your own personality construct, thought construct and even body construct. Look at your house dreams as an honest blueprint of your current self image and state of health.
I constantly dream of having to redo a house I am about to move into. It is old and the walls are mildewed and the furniture is old and dusty, covered in sheets, sometimes decayed even. I am usually walking through the house, kind of afraid, telling whoever I am with about all the work that needs to be done. Often times, the house has secret rooms and or bizarre staircases that wind all over the place and lead to nowhere. – Crissy 35
Lauri: You are probably trying to move on from something but aren’t being terribly successful at it. The house is old because this is an old issue in your life. The mildew and dust point to something in your life that has been neglected. Did you ever feel neglected in your life? In your childhood? The items covered in sheets represent memories you have covered up because you don’t want to deal with them. The secret rooms may even be about things in your life that you don’t want others to know. The staircases that lead nowhere show us that you have not been able to progress past these issues and, to some degree, they have kept you trapped emotionally, perhaps even physically. Psychological and emotional pain will lead to physical issues if not dealt with. You keep getting this dream because your inner mind wants to move on from it. Are you holding on to any resentment or anger from the past? The dreams can’t move forward until you move forward.
Crissy replies: This was very helpful. I know that I do have issues that need to be dealt with. I actually was neglected a good bit as a child. I do harbor resentment towards my mother and this has affected my weight for most of my life. The reason I can’t deal with it is because she is mentally ill and can’t be held responsible for the way things happened in my childhood. I have been in therapy before, but sometimes these issues are just overwhelming to confront. I guess it is emotional laziness on my part. Time to revisit my therapist.
While the meanings stated above for the snake, the horse and the house are certainly not the only meanings behind these symbols, they are the most common according to my research. Like Virgil, Shelley and Chrissy, your dreams are giving you clues about your health and about your life too. Remember, you and your dreams (your second brain) are partners in monitoring and improving your emotional and physical well being. Like I always say, when you can understand your dreams, you can CHANGE YOUR LIFE!!
My latest book Dream on It is very thorough and will teach you how the dreaming mind works. It’s been so effective that it has been featured on Dr. Oz, Fox Business, The Steve Harvey Show, Katie Couric and more! Once you’ve read Dream on It you’ll never look at your dreams the same again!
“I’m still reading Dream On It and can’t put in down. I’ve been dreaming a lot more or remembering them since I started to read it, but now my dreams are making sense. Thank you for a well written and enjoyable read.” – Margie Ward, Upper Darby, PA