For the past five years, I’ve been working on my dreams in a systematic manner: I write the dream down with no self-censorship, go through each symbol while noting the spontaneous associations that come up, and then spend some time describing the personal context of the past day(s).
With these out of the way, I focus on the story of the dream, each scene representing a personal dynamic. I feel into them as if they were interactive paintings representing the objective state of my psyche as seen from the unconscious. I get many impressions and compare them to the personal context until something ‘clicks’, that is until I get an emotional or somatic reaction. Then I know I am on the right track.
At some point, I bring all these elements together, come up with an interpretation and test it against three criteria. The interpretation must be 1) totally new, 2) humbling for the ego, 3) about myself and my inner world (and not others in the outside world). If the interpretation still feels right after being scrutinized, I incorporate these insights moving forward and modify my course of action accordingly.
This method has proved itself many times and so I have done my best to put these guidelines on a single A4 sheet that you can download here: