How God uses dreams to teach us about dream interpretation, and what that looks like – with real dream examples.
Did you know that you can have dreams about dreams?
And did you know that the Holy Spirit wants to mentor you in hearing His voice through dreams?
This article explores how God uses dreams to do just that – with plenty of examples to illustrate what it looks like in practice.
I approach dream interpretation from a biblical perspective. My belief is that our dreams can come from God, and understanding them is best understood within the context of an ongoing relationship with Him.
If you have just come across this post and are new to dream interpretation, it is worth mentioning that dreams are symbolic in nature. You might find it helpful to read Understand your dreams: A bible-based introduction to dream language and my 3 step dream interpretation method to give you a foundation.
- Dreams about dreams
- Ways the Holy Spirit mentors us in dreams
- Summary of dream-related symbols
Dreams about dreams
When I first started taking my dreams seriously and listening to their messages, I was very surprised and delighted to find that God started giving me dreams – about dreams! I realised that God was mentoring me through them; He was giving me encouragements and clues.
If you start pursuing dreams seriously – as a way to connect with God – you will probably soon find that the Holy Spirit is mentoring you in the process too.
If you pursue dreams as a way to connect with God – you will find that the Holy Spirit mentors you on the journey.
In this article we will explore some of the ways God could do this, and some of the dream symbols that might be about dreams.
The best way to explain is to illustrate with examples – so this article is full of real dreams! Keep your eyes out for similar themes in your own dreams.
Introducing the Holy Spirit as our teacher
Since the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, each one of us has the ability to hear God through His presence within us. This is through the Holy Spirit, who is the way God lives in us. The Holy Spirit (aka God) is closely involved in our dream life!
Finally, we get to interact with God, and receive His help. Truly, having such a personal guide is better than any other way of learning!
- Isaiah 30:20-21 NASB He, your Teacher will no longer hide Himself, but your eyes will behold your Teacher. Your ears will hear a word behind you,“ This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left.
- Job 36:22, NASB “Behold, God is exalted in His power; Who is a teacher like Him?
I encourage you to open your mind to the idea that some of your dreams might be God mentoring you in dream interpretation. You might be surprised!!
Ways the Holy Spirit mentors us in dreams
The Holy Spirit guides and mentors us on our dream journey in various ways, by:
- Encouraging us on the journey
- Establishing key symbols relating to dreams
- Teaching us about the interpretation process
- Giving insight into our progress
- Correcting wrong interpretations
- Explaining our impact on other people
Dreams to encourage our dream journey
Learning to interpret dreams is quite a difficult process. It involves learning a whole new language (symbolic / metaphorical thinking) and takes time and effort. We need all the encouragement we can get!
Thankfully, the Holy Spirit is described as our Helper, which can also be translated as Encourager; so it’s no surprise that He is our main encourager in the dream interpretation journey!
- John 15:26, NCV I will send you the Helper from the Father; he is the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father.
Early on in my dream journey, I had some dreams that encouraged me to press on with the process of interpreting my dreams and gave me reasons for persevering.
This dream was the first one that made me realise I was dreaming about dreams:
DREAM: FINDING PUZZLES AND CLUES
I dreamed I was in a student room with my friend who’s a teacher. We were on a treasure hunt. The clues were hidden in puzzles and behind pictures. It had a great sense of fun about it
The student room indicated that this dream was about something I was learning, and my teacher friend was the Holy Spirit as my teacher – in disguise, helping me! Solving puzzles and interpreting metaphoric images (looking behind pictures) pretty much sums up what dream interpretation was about.
My teacher friend: Introducing the Holy Spirit as my teacher
Being a student or at school/ college: Learning something
Puzzles and pictures: Dreams are like puzzles to solve and images to interpret.
The encouragement I gained from this dreams was that learning about dreams would be fun, with the Holy Spirit mentoring me. It also opened my eyes to the fact that God was with me on the journey.
I had another dream which also encouraged me:
DREAM: PUSHING THROUGH THE DOOR
I dreamed that a teacher from Streams Ministries came to my church. Then I was standing at the door of an old building. I tried to push the door open to get in, but it wouldn’t move at first. I had to keep pushing and pushing until the door ‘unravelled’ and opened. I went in. Once inside, the church opened up from a traditional church into a beautiful outdoor space with a lake and foliage. It was bright and sparkling. I got some other people to show them the view.
The presence of a Streams teacher (I trained in dreams with them) alerted me to this dream being about dreams. The encouragement was to keep pressing on with any given dream until the message ‘unravelled’ (like the door) and I understood. The sparkly sea was a picture of the heavenly world that would open up to me if I persevered.
Streams teacher: The Holy Spirit as my teacher on dreams.
Door unravelling: The dream meanings unravelling as I pushed through.
As well as encouraging me to persevere with my dreams until I understood them, this dream told me that pursuing dreams would open the heavenly world up to me; dreams are a great way to bridge the natural and supernatural realms. In addition, others would be helped by my journey.
Dreams to establish dream symbols
Another useful way Holy Spirit helps us, is by introducing key people and other symbols that He will use to speak to us about dreams.
If you don’t already, it’s worth building up a personal dream dictionary, and keeping a note of all the symbols that God uses to speak to you about dreams.
Oftentimes, the first time a symbol appears in a dream gives us a clue to its meaning. This happened to me in the following dream:
DREAM: WATCHING ‘JOSEPH’ WITH MY SON
I dreamed I was with my middle son in a theatre searching for something. We ended up sitting in the auditorium watching the musical ‘Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’. My friend Jo and her family were sitting with us. We were on the front row and had an excellent view.
This musical is all about dreams. This dream introduced two people that God would use to speak to me about my dream life: God was ‘showing’ me something about dreams.
THE SYMBOLS INTRODUCED IN THIS DREAM WERE:
My middle son: When he appears in my dreams it is still always about dreaming or interpreting dreams.
My friend Jo: God uses people with the names Jo, Joseph, Joanne, etc., to speak to me about my dream life all the time. This links to Joseph (the famous dreamer) in the bible.
I encourage you to look out for the people and other symbols (like the ‘Joseph’ musical) that indicate that your dream is about dreams! Keep a list of them.
Once you have identified them, it becomes much easier to understand what the Holy Spirit is trying to say through those dreams.
Dreams about the interpretation process
If, like me, you have lots of dreams, it can be difficult to know where to start! The Holy Spirit sometimes gives us clues about this in our dreams.
The most common way is by giving us more dreams on the same subject which we can cross reference – to help us get the point. Sometimes the Holy Spirit alerts us that there are important things in our dreams that we need to know.
But another way is by helping us review our old dreams, and providing clues about where to start with that process.
Here is an example:
DREAM:WATCHING THE WHOLE SERIES
I dreamed I arrived at a place with snow around. I was watching some videos and commented that I would have to back and watch the whole series. I had them recorded.
This dream was telling me to do a search on for all my dreams about snow, and review all of them together, in order to understand the message.
The videos: Dreams (which I had ‘recorded’ in my journals)
The series: A series of dreams. Dreams can come in different patterns and cycles, including series of dreams focused around a particular dream symbol.
I was able to pull up all my dreams about snow (by searching for that in my electronic dreams record) – and review them to understand the message. This saved me time: I knew I had been dreaming about snow quite a lot (so it was easy to link that to this dream), but I hadn’t understood the significance until this point.
In this next dream, the Holy Spirit was telling me that it was important that I should look more closely at my dreams:
DREAM: A MAP HIDDEN UNDER THE PAINT
I dreamed I was with my friend who trained with me in dreams, in her kitchen. One of the walls was painted deep blue. I could see the outline of a map showing through underneath.
Blue generally represents revelation, and a map is about guidance/direction. This dream was telling me that if I revisited my dreams and dug a little deeper, I would find direction for the way ahead.
My ‘dream training’ friend: Reflecting me as a dream interpreter
The blue paint: My dreams (heavenly revelation)
The particular friend who featured in that dream often appears in my dreams as a marker – to let me know that the dream is about dreams. We took the Streams UK dreams training together.
It is comforting to know that God is active in mentoring us. Our lives get very busy and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the thought of all those dreams to think about. But as long as we keep going as best as we are able, He will take the initiative – and alert us when we have missed something important. I find that a big relief.
Dreams correcting wrong ideas
Many times, I have misunderstood my dreams and jumped to the wrong conclusion about what God was saying through them. This sounds scary, because as Christians we tend to worry that we’ll somehow make wrong decisions and ‘mess our life up’ if we get the meaning wrong!
But I have learnt to relax and trust God! He knows what we are going to initially think a dream means, so it’s not a surprise to Him.
If we have started going the wrong way, God will get our attention somehow! He is perfectly capable of doing so.
- This could be by giving us a dream that wakes us up in a sweat in the night (with a holy fear) or by simply giving us a vivid dream. There are many ways to get our attention.
Knowing that God is willing to correct our understanding is a huge relief – and takes the pressure off relying on our own ability.
Here is an example:
DREAM: SNAKES IN MY JOURNAL
I dreamed that my dreams teacher from Streams UK told me he had seen snakes coming out of my dream journal.
Snakes are a classic dream symbol that represent lies; in other words, I had got a wrong idea from my dreams, and should go back and rethink what they were saying.
Dream journal: My dream interpretation attempts.
My dreams mentor: An authoritative voice about dreams.
There are some of the common dream symbols that can represent wrong thinking:
- Snakes represent lies
- Yellow represents understanding – and could be positive or negative
- Brown, the number 4, wood, sand or mud, and going down or south, can all represent natural thinking (rather than heavenly)
Dreams giving progress insights
Dreams are wonderful in that the guidance they provide is exceptionally detailed, once we have unravelled the message. This is very helpful with our dream journey – and we can gain heavenly insights that we would never have thought imaginable.
The Holy Spirit uses dreams like a mirror, or progress report. In them we receive a reflection of our situation, and an honest appraisal of where we are. It may be wonderful, or it may be challenging (or both!) – but it comes from a teacher who is totally for us and wants us to succeed.
To illustrate this, one of my regular blog readers had this dream:
They dreamed they were in a seaside town; then they were flying through the air like an animal over the sea shore. They landed in marshy ground, which seemed to be off target from where they felt they should be landing.
This was an encouragement that they were making good progress with dreams (flying), but also giving insight that they were coming to some wrong conclusions about some dreams.
Sea shore: The seashore/seaside is an interface between two realms: The land and the sea. In dreams, this often represents the link between heaven (the sea) and earth (the land). This is exactly what dreams are: A way for our natural understanding to grasp heavenly realities.
Flying: This usually represents moving in spiritual things – and in our dreams indicates that we are being led by the Holy Spirit.
Landing: This would be coming to a an understanding of what the Holy Spirit was saying.
Marshy ground: Suggests mixed thinking – i.e., some of their ideas were natural thinking, not from the Holy Spirit.
This dream was an honest appraisal of their progress: There was some great Spirit-led dream interpretation going on, mixed with a few wrong ideas. This is a fairly typical scenario!
It might feel demoralising to be told that you’ve got some things wrong – but I have found that it is usually a relief in the end. Our ideas often involve imagining the worst – and when we realise the true meaning of our dreams it is positive and liberating!
Dreams revealing potential impact
If we take our dream journey seriously, it will inevitably have an impact on those around us. People we know will be watching to see how we get on, and other people may start asking us about our dreams.
The Holy Spirit can use our dreams to speak to us about this – to reveal our calling and encourage us to press on.
I had this dream early on in my journey with dreams:
DREAM: CRASHING INTO MY NEIGHBOURS’ DOORS
I dreamed I was looking at the front drive of my house. My friend (who did the dream training course with me) took my car and drove over the road. She bashed into some doors of our neighbours opposite, and they came out.
The front of something usually represents the future. This friend represents my dream life, as we trained in dreams together. This dream was saying that in the future people around me would be impacted by my dream journey, and it would be a way to open up conversations (like opening their doors).
My ‘dream training’ friend: Reflecting myself as a dream interpreter.
This dream revealed that my dream journey would open up conversations with other people, and this did happen over the following years: People from my work started asking me questions about their dreams, and we had some great conversations about faith, spirituality, God, and life in general, as a result.
I also had numerous conversations (both physically and electronically) with fellow Christians about their dreams.
This was another dream I had at the end of last year, which encouraged me in a different way:
DREAM: SCHOOL CHILDREN PERFORMING ‘JOSEPH’
I was in a school where the children were performing the musical ‘Joseph’. Some of the adults my age joined in; we were sitting right out at the front. We explained that we were at school when the musical was first released, so we knew many of the songs.
I really did learn those songs at school, and God was using that to send me a message. The children were new people learning to interpret dreams. I would be able to help them, because they would be going through the same experiences (songs) that I did at first. Being out the front suggested I would have a leadership role.
The Joseph musical: Indicated that this dream was about dreams.
The school children: Represented people new to the dream journey.
The impact my dream journey would have, was being able to encourage and mentor those new to dream interpretation, through my past experiences. That is what I am doing right now, through this blog!
Summary of dream-related symbols
I have already mentioned that the Holy Spirit uses certain symbols to talk to us about our dream journey. It is worth building up a personal dream dictionary, and in particular, keeping a note of all the symbols that God uses to speak to you personally about dreams.
Sometimes these symbols/people are just there as a flag – to provide the context, indicating that this dream is about our dream journey. This in itself is very helpful.
Sometimes these symbols are simply in our dreams as a flag – to indicate that the dream is about our dream journey.
I have included many examples from real dreams in this article. Here is a generic summary of some common ones to watch out for:
Settings that relate to dreaming:
The setting of a dream (where it takes place) gives us clues about the real life context (which is the real life situation or part of our life that the dream is about).
The following scenarios are clues that suggest a dream might be about our dream life:
- Activities that are like dream interpretation: For example solving word puzzles, trying to decipher notes, sorting out/reviewing photos/pictures.
- Activities that are like dreaming: For example, watching videos or movies, or flying. this might be about dreams
- Being in bed, or based around a bed: This might be about dreaming.
- Being on a course or conference: This could be about many things, including learning about dreams. If it is a conference about dreams, that is a stong indicator.
- Joseph and the Amazing Technicolur dreamcoat: A popular musical that features dreams; anything relating to this is a strong indicator.
- Listening to a well-known dream interpreter: This is also a strong indicator.
- On the beach / seashore, or in a seaside town: Dreams are an interface to help us bridge the gap between heaven and earth, so this is a common setting.
- Wearing pyjamas or bed-clothes: We dream in bed, so this is a common setting.
People who may be the Holy Spirit :
The Holy Spirit sometimes appears as a teacher person in our dreams. The action in the dream will indicate whether this is the case. For example, they will usually be helping us in some way. This could be by accompanying us, guiding/correcting us, or giving advice.
When a person is representing God, the things we are told have an authoritative nature to them; i.e., we don’t question them. They might also be spoken like a prophetic word.
Here are some of the ways they might appear in our dreams:
- A teacher: The Holy Spirit as our teacher – could be teaching us about any area of life, including dreams.
- A well-known teacher on dreams: As above. this is also a strong indicator.
- A well-known dream interpreter: As above.
- Someone we know who is a teacher (as above)
- Someone who has taught/mentored us in dreams: This could be someone who has personally helped us with dreams, or the writer of a book/course we have read/taken. This is a strong indicator.
People who may be reflecting us:
People in dreams can also reflect ourselves; it is like watching ourselves reflected in a mirror. If you are taking an interest in dreams at the moment, it is likely that some of the following scenarios will be about your dream journey.
The action in the dream will alert us to them representing ourselves as dream interpreters. Rather than having a teacher role, they might just be involved in the activity.
- A child or student: Reflecting ourselves on a journey of learning. The age (or stage of training) will indicate how new or experienced we are. This could be about any learning experience, including dreams.
- A well-known dream interpreter: Our activity (or gift) of interpreting dreams, or a calling to learn about dreams. Also see previous section.
- Someone we associate with dreams: This could be someone we trained with, or is on a similar journey with dreams.
- The name Daniel: This relates to Daniel, the dream interpreter, in the bible. This name is also linked to prophecy in general, not just dreams.
- The name Jo/Joseph: This links to Joseph, the dreamer, in the bible. They could appear in our dreams as someone we know called Jo, Joseph, or Joanne, etc. This is a strong indicator.
We have seen that God loves to mentor us in dream interpretation – through the guidance of His Holy Spirit who constantly helps us.
- He does this in many ways, such as encouraging us, giving us insight and clues, correcting us, and inspiring us with the impact it will have on ourselves and other people.
- He also uses certain symbols as flags, to alert us that the dream is about dreams and our journey as dream interpreters!
God could even give you a dream tonight, to show you how He wants to help you on this journey. Why not pray right now and ask Him for one? Be ready to write any dreams down – and see what happens!
If you discover that God is mentoring you in relations to dreams, do leave a comment below – I’d love to hear about it!
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The purpose of this blog is to provide solid biblical foundations for interpreting dreams, change mindsets in the church, and encourage others to make their own dream journey. I am primarily a writer and bible teacher – who loves dreams, and I hope you will be inspired to learn to interpret your own dreams.
It is not currently my aim to routinely engage in dream interpretations or provide training, except through writing blog posts. You can read my most up to date position on interpreting dreams here: Requests for dream interpretations.
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