I recently had the following question from a student of my Intuitive Awakening Course. I wanted to answer it publicly in case it is helpful for someone else, too:

“In your course, you teach that Spirit can send us messages & guidance through dreams. Last night I dreamt that my neighbours caught 3 foxes, tied them to a tree and knocked on my door to show me. When the neighbours went inside, I went into their garden and cut the foxes loose.”

How do I interpret this dream?” 

Firstly, remember that not all dreams are spiritual in nature or worthy of interpretation. In my experience, dreams fall broadly into two categories – spiritual dreams and non-spiritual ones, and you need to work out which type your dream is before you bother interpreting it. In this article I’m going to explain each type & how you can recognise which one it is.

So, let’s have a look at the first type:

1. Non-Spiritual Dreams

I recently read an interesting book ‘Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams’ by neuroscientist Matthew Walker, which explains that humans need sleep partly so we can hash out and process the emotional experiences of our day (and he backs this up with scientific evidence, although I have only remembered the conclusion he drew and not how he arrived at that conclusion). In particular, Walker makes the case that we dream in order to process the negative emotions and experiences, like anger, disappointment or rejection to give a few examples.

Sometimes dreams are simply ‘Emotional Processing’ dreams. These are the dreams often make no sense — they usually appear to lack meaning or feel a bit chaotic. Sometimes emotional processing dreams are rich in symbolism but the symbolism can feel too contrived/cryptic for any interpretation. Sometimes this is simply a ‘stress dream’ where something distressing or challenging is happening in your dream…

An example of this sort of dream would be one where you get chased by stray dogs and you have to outrun them to survive. If you ponder this dream, you may find that the the stress and panic you felt in your dream felt similar to the stress and pressure you’ve been feeling at work lately. So the dream could simply be a way of reliving and processing how you have been feeling recently.

Another type of non-spiritual dream is the dream which contains a message from the subconscious mind…

Messages From The Subconscious Mind

The dream my student described above about tied up foxes would probably fall into this category.

The subconscious, when we’re asleep, often attempts to find solutions to our problems, or it may just hash out and consider difficulties & dilemmas that we’re going through (but in a more meaningful way than the emotional processing dream). These difficulties or dilemmas are often outside of our conscious awareness. The subconscious contains many messages for us about our lives, our unmet needs, our unfulfilled or forgotten desires, our unacknowledged feelings, and the hidden dynamics of our relationships. A dream from the subconscious differs from the emotional processing dream in that it contains clear and often very clever symbolism which appears to make much more sense than in a processing dream.

In the example of the dream given above about the foxes, this dream could be telling my student that there is an element of her primal/wild/animal nature (sex life?) which she feels someone else is trying to control, and she wants to set it free.

Another interpretation could be that there is some other aspect of the dreamer in question which someone else is trying to keep in a cage — for example, perhaps the dreamer is working a job that she hates and feels trapped in, but her husband has been encouraging her to stay in it, because it is so well paid.

Of course either of these interpretations could be completely wrong, and it depends on what resonates with the dreamer in question. In order to make meaning of the dream, the student would probably also need to work out what the neighbours in the dream symbolise for her, as they were the people who tied the foxes up in the first place.

2. Spiritual Dreams

The second type of dream is the spiritual dream. Spiritual dreams can fall into a few different sub-categories. Let’s look at the first one:

Visitation Dreams

This is a common type of spiritual dream, and it is when you are visited by a deceased loved one, a guide or an angel while you are asleep and in the astrals. How can you recognise a visitation dream? You will usually know it when a deceased loved one comes to visit you in a dream because you will feel deeply impacted by the experience – often a deceased loved one will send you some loving energy in the dream and this sense of love stays with you, often for hours or days after you wake up.

Angels can also pass on positive energies to us in dreams or affect us energetically in our dream state, and I believe that if you meet an angel in your dream, again, you will know it upon waking.

I describe an encounter with an angel in this article: Angels Defined & How They Can Help You:

“I met an angel in my dream spontaneously. I dreamed that I was waiting in line to buy a ticket at the local coach station. There was a woman right in front of me, with her back to me. In the dream, she turned around and looked me in the eye and said ‘you go in front of me’ and smiled. Looking into her eyes, it was clear that she was an Angel. A wave of emotion swept me and I felt very nurtured and loved. The eyes of the Angel were kind and gentle but also the kind of gaze that burns when you look at it. I woke up deeply moved from my dream and that feeling lasted for hours.”

Sometimes visitation dreams can also be healing dreams, where you meet a celestial being and wake up feeling healed or reinvigorated in some significant way.

Now let’s look at another type of spiritual dream:

Spiritual Insight Dreams

In this type of dream, you receive a message from Spirit and it is clarifying something for you or advising you in some way – sometimes the dream can contain a word, a symbol or a song lyric that is highly relevant to a problem you are working out in your life.

Spiritual insight dreams can sometimes look like messages from the subconscious, in that both types of dream are often rich in symbolism, but the difference with a ‘spiritual insight’ dream is that these almost require no interpretation…these come complete with an interpretation to the dream, within the dream. So the key difference between the two is that the symbolism in spiritual insight dreams will be crystal clear, whereas subconscious dreams can sometimes require more pondering.

To give an example of a ‘spiritual insight’ dream, a client (who was being slowed down and hindered by a situation in her life that she was too afraid to address for fear of hurting someone,) dreamt of having water filled blisters on the soles of her feet that stopped her from walking easily. When she looked at the little blisters, she could see they contained a man’s face (it was the face of a friend of hers) and she didn’t want to hurt him by walking on the blisters, but in the dream she could not move forwards  or walk properly as a result.

She woke up knowing that this man she saw in the blisters was taking advantage of her good nature, and she wanted to cut him loose. She did not need to interpret that dream or ponder it — she woke up knowing exactly what it meant, and had a strong sense of what she needed to do next.

So, in conclusion, if you’re wracking your brains trying to work out what your dream and its symbolism means, it most likely does not come from Spirit.

When Spirit gives us messages in dreams, the symbolism is fairly easy to decode and you will wake up knowing what it means. It may even come with a song lyric, a sentence or a word that encapsulates the guidance of the dream, just to hammer it home for you.

Another way in which a spiritual insight dream is different from a subconscious dream, is that dreams from the subconscious will often be very concerned with your needs or your ego, whereas spiritual dreams constitute advice from your guides or angels, and as such they come from a higher and wiser place than the subconscious dreams. These dreams will see further and contain more wisdom than your average subconscious dream.

Let’s have a look at another type of spiritual dream:

Future Dreams

I talk about this type of dream in this article: Dreaming of the Future

Here’s an example of a future dream I detailed in the article:

“I recently heard about a precognitive dream in a true story about a Welsh artist – a single woman in her fifties – who owned a house in the city. But at night she kept dreaming of a beautiful house in the countryside. After having dreamt of this house several times, she painted it, with all the details that stood out in her dream.

Then a few months later, she met a man and fell in love.  He took her to spend the weekend in his home, which was in the North of England. She could not believe it when she saw his house – it was the house from her dream (and her painting) – right in front of her eyes, right down to the last detail.  She showed him the picture she had painted.  She later moved into that house with him.”

In future dreams, you’re shown what is likely to happen if you continue down a certain path, or you see an event from your future that you ‘just know’ will come to pass. Again, you may recognise a future dream because you wake up from it feeling emotionally impacted by what happened in the dream, or if you’re claircognizant, you “just know” that what happened in the dream will come to pass.

This type of dream is also usually from Spirit, and it can serve as a warning (i.e. if you keep eating doughnuts for breakfast, you’re going to develop diabetes). Or it can be a reassurance that you will reach a treasured goal or desire that you hold for yourself. These dreams, in my experience, are rather rare, and are not to be confused with stress dreams (i.e. you dream that your children were involved in a terrible accident – in my experience, this type of dream is usually a manifestation of an anxiety that you have about your children, rather than a future prediction.)

I hope that this isn’t too confusing with all the different types of dream that I have described here, and that this article might be helpful for any ‘spiritually switched on’ dreamers out there!