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I'll agree with you that there is no standard rule book for interpreting dreams. And unfortunately there are plenty of people who come from the same crowd as tarot card readers and animal psychics.

Still, I think that one may find some insight into what is going on in your life and unconcious mind at times. Now be careful not to get too wrapped up in symbolism. Sleep and dreaming is tidbits of reality thrown into a free wheeling mind with no restraint. So one part of a dream may be totally grounded in reality, like worrying about your sick dog, while other portions are not. As someone once derided Freud "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar" e.g. not a phallic symbol. Last year scientists were able to prove with PET (no pun intended) scans that during sleep mice replayed the mazes they ran; showing that one function of sleep is problem solving and memory consolidation.

There are dream types that are extremely common among societys. In western society flying, running, drowning or suffocating dreams are regular themes. It is reasonable to conclude that such common dreams would have a broadly common cause or meaning behind them.

Let's take a step back from the flippant interpretation that your flying dream is about "freedom". Nonetheless, flying does imply the ability to move about freely, without great effort and with ease. So your dream might be a reflection of how things are going for you, or how you would like them to be. In life as in flying we are buffeted by up and down drafts, rocked back and forth regain equilibrium and continue into smoother air beyond. Being able to maintain balance through turbulence is a skill of maturity and experience again both in life and in flying. [yes I'm a pilot] Your caution sign could represent literally a warning, or perhaps that you have gained experience and the ability to recognize the need to be alert at times, though nothing at present may be threatening.

In the end, they are YOUR dreams. What does it mean to you? Yet, as we agree, don't get too wrapped up in symbolism or take them too literally. Take what is useful, discard the negative and hurtful dreams.

I'll close with a couple dreams that were helpful to me. First is an example of a real problem solving eureka! moment. I had a wiring problem in an electronic circuit that had been bugging us for days and I couldn't figure out the problem. But during a dream right before waking, I realized that wire A needed to be moved to connector 2. I got up went to the lab and it worked. Eureka! When I moved I was forced to give away my cat I'd had for 12 years to some good friends. Unfortunately they had problems between the cat and their kids and had to give him to their friends. I'd lost track of him and had been concerned about his welfare. Sometime later I had a sad dream that he had died. That feeling carried over after waking and was upsetting. After going through the dream and his life I thought about the date I got him and suddenly realized that it had been so many years, that he must have passed on. No average cat would live so long. Suddenly I felt relieved that I taken the best care I could, and that I no longer had to worry about him. *wistful sigh*

Alright Dream-Smith! Go out there, take charge of those dreams and make of them what you will!

Best, a.m.

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