1- Dreams have a way of introducing or rather reintroducing us to truths which we have long known to be. If spirituality is taken to be an inner truth, and religion as that which links us back to source, then it must be the case that religious imagery partly assists in that function of recognition. Using images that cannot be interpreted successfully in any other way reinforces the idea of spirituality being something separate in us. Because the images are so specific they may be startling.
2- When the individual, through deliberate or spontaneous neglect, denies himself access to the store of religious imagery in waking life, dreams will often react to this lack and try to compensate by jolting the dreamer back into an awareness of his inner spirit. In today’s society it is very easy to fasten on the hypocritical aspects of religion and to acccpt that hypocrisy. It is also easy to make the assumption that the outward forms of religion often deny the existence of a true inner reality. This rejection can be valid, since it is not until the individual accepts responsibility for his own existence that true spirituality emerges. If spirituality the inner truth that we all hold is neglected, it will not go away: it will simply reappear in its negative and terrifying form. In waking life the closest image we have to that is the Devil (see Devil), or the more vengeful Indian gods. Our own personalised demons can be more frightening than those.
3- If we are prepared to accept that each truth will have its own personal slant, and that we must get back to the basic truth, all dreams can be interpreted from a spiritual point of view. This is especially true of religious imagery. Most interpretations have had to be stated in general terms and are given here only as guidelines. When the reader can throw away the book and say that the interpretations are not valid, then he will have taken on personal responsibility.
Angel In spiritual terms the angel symbolises pure being and freedom from earthly matters.
Angels tend to be androgynous, and arc not recognised either as male or female. There is a hierarchy of angels; 1) Angels (the realm closest to the physical), 2) Cherubim and 3) Seraphim. As more people are seeking spirituality; there are those who have become more aware of the angel form, particularly in dreams. It is vital that the dreamer is able to differentiate between the personalised aspect of the Higher Self, and the angelic form, since they arc similar but different. Dark angels are reputed to be those angelic beings who have not yet totally rejected the ego or earthly passions. When this image appears in a dream, we are being alerted to a spiritual transgression, which often has already happened. Warning angels usually symbolise what should not be clone. Buddha (also see individual entry) The figure of Buddha appearing in dreams highlights the necessity to be aware of the Qualities of Being which Buddha taught. It links us to the power of renunciation and of suffering, but in the sense that experience of suffering is valid. Ceremony/Ritual (also see individual entries) Ceremony and ritual are all part of the heightening of awareness which occurs on the path to spirituality. In dream ceremony the images are even more vivid.
Christ appearing in dreams epitomises the recognition of the ability to reconcile the physical and the spiritual, God and Man. He personifies Perfect Man, a state to which we all aspire. Appearing on the cross he signifies redemption through suffering. We do not need to be crucified physically to suffer. The ideal Christ is that part of ourselves which is prepared to take on our portion of the sufferings in the world by- working within the world. The anarchic Christ is the part of us whose love and lust for life permit us to break through all known barriers. The Cosmic Christ is the part that is prepared to take on Cosmic Responsibility that is, to be connected with the Universal Truth. While these aspects have been spoken of in Christian terms, obviously they- are also present in all religious figures. Church, chapel, temple (also see Church Buildings) We all are aware of our need for sanctuary from the batterings of the everyday world. Within the church we / are free to form a relationship with our own personal God. In dreams we may also have the realisation that our body is our temple. Church or Religious Music These sounds, dedicated to the perception of God that one has. are sacred sounds and are a way of expanding the spirit. Crucifixion images in a dream link with the human being’s need to sacrifice himself through passion and through pain. Devil (also see individual entry) In dreams the Devil represents temptation. This often arises from the repressed sexual drives which demand attention. It may also signify the Shadow (see Introduction). Ghosts (also see individual entry) Independent forces within, which arc separate from the individual’s will. It will depend on the dreamer’s belief as to whether lie accepts the appearance of ghosts as psychological or spiritual apparitions. Gods/Goddesses (also see individual entries) We are each given the opportunity to make real our fullest potential. In doing so, we must undertake an exploration and possibly a confrontation of our perception of gods and goddesses.
Hell is a state of being where nothing is ever as it seems and could be thought of as continually existing in a state of negative illusion. Reputedly it is a state of Spiritual Agony where one’s worst dreams are fulfilled. Heaven is a state of being where the energy is of such a high frequency that there is no suffering. In dreams it appears when the individual is transmuting his awareness into dimensions other than the physical. It is reputedly a placc where bliss exists. It is also known as Nirvana and Samadhi. Holy Communion The belief that Christ’s body was transmuted into heavenly food symbolised by the Last Supper appears in dreams as the intake of spiritual food. Holy Communion represents a sacred sharing. Icon (also see individual entry) An icon is a representation of a religious figure or concept. It can, through usage, become revered as a holy object in its own right. Incense (also see individual entry) Incense is an offering to the gods and a physical form of prayer through perfume and smoke. Initiation takes place when some barrier is transcended to enable us to have access to other ways of being.
Mary, the Mother of God/Virgin Mother flic symbolism of Mary, both as the maiden and as the mother, is a potent one. She epitomises all that is woman, and all that is holy Moses often appears in dreams as the holy figure who will lead us out of difficulty.
Old and New Testaments or all religious books A resource and a repository for knowledge is available in dream imagary this will often appear as books. Priest/Prophet A conflict between the present and the future. A Religious Service is the act of worship which is used to bring people together. It is recognised in dreams, perhaps as an act of integration of the whole self, and as an illustration that the whole is greater than the parts. Third Eye This is the developed clairvoyant perceptiveness that comes with spiritual development. It is the Third Eye of Buddha and symbolises unity and balance. In no case does it represent a physical quality, though it is thought to link with the pineal gland.