Finally someone has written a good introduction to dream interpretation with a dictionary of dream symbols. This dictionary will replace (hopefully) the 19th century best seller (Miller 1901) which was given to me by well intentioned friends for last year’s birthday. They knew nothing about dream interpretation, or that I have been interpreting dreams for fifty years. It was a best seller, so it must be good. That’s what many people would think, it is popular, so it must be true. Among the spiritually inclined who still have a 19th century consciousness and a superstitious folk perspective, the popular culture is all they know. Carl Jung grew up in that milieu, his mom and her female relatives were spiritists interested in parapsychological phenomena (not his Lutheran minister father). Jung attended seances with them when he was a Medical Student. He later became a Psychiatrist, and after joining forces with Sigmund Freud for a few years, separated from the Freudian school and started his own tradition. Jung broadened the interpretation of dreams and psychoanalysis to more universal proportions. Rooted in philosophy and the science of his day, Jung’s writings are very challenging for the average reader. They were even challenging for a guy like me with a Masters degree in philosophy.
When I was studying at the Jung Institute in Los Angeles in the late 1970s, I discovered there is an experiential foundation in this lineage. You have to personally encounter the unconscious in order to understand what is written about it. You have to validate the remarks and insights of others with your own journey inward. This knowledge through experience is essential. The cliche “you have to be one to know one” applies to dreamworkers. Michael Lennox appears to have mastered the art of dream interpretation. His book Dream Sight: A Dictionary and Guide for Interpreting Any Dream (2011) is the one I have been waiting for. It is the one every dreamer should have on her bookshelf, the first helper in doing one’s own dream work. Once you get started doing this work, you might find reading the works of others in the lineage of Carl Jung is the next step.
I highly recommend Marie-Louise von Franz, who is the best at clearly and succinctly summarizing the basic insights of Jung. She worked closely with him during the last 30 years of his life, especially on the translations and interpretation of medieval and ancient alchemical treatises. Her work on faerie tales is superb. Any series of lectures she gave relied heavily upon dreams and their symbols. Most Jungians discuss dreams as the main access to the unconscious of the dreamer and of the culture. Get Lennox if you are interested in starting a dream journal. Join a dream circle, and find a dream interpreter to help facilitate your spiritual growth. It is the “fast track”. Although it requires a lot of work, it is the easiest way to build a relationship with your inner self and worth every ounce of effort.