To access the full richness of dreams, I suggest you don't see the process as one of "translating" from a different language (say, the way you would translate Spanish into
English, or hieroglyphs into English). Instead, I suggest you see the
dream as a starting point for a creative process. You use the dream’s
story and specific images as an entry point. You focus on putting yourself
into the situation or images suggested by the dream... and you pay
attention to what it feels like when you do so.
You're no longer trying to make sense of the weird language of the
dream from the outside. You are very much in the thick of it. You are
living it in the moment. You are paying attention to what it feels
like, to what it evokes, and you take it from there. As you do so,
you're getting more in touch with creative forces that function below
your conscious awareness.
Notice that this process is inspired by the dream, as opposed
to dictated by it. We are not talking about a literal meaning
of the dream, not even a meaning that is inherent in the dream. We
are talking about a creative process that the dream inspires you to
start and follow.
You're familiar with the Rorschach test: you look at inkblots, and
describe what you see, whereby reflecting what's on your mind. Your
dream functions as such a point of departure. It certainly feels more
poignant than an inkblot because it contains imagery that is pertinent
to you: You have singled it out from many other dreams to actually
remember it (we all forget the majority of our dreams).
Instead of looking for standardized dream meanings, I find it far
more powerful to explore what dreams mean in the context of your own
life. A dream can be an incredibly powerful springboard into a whole
new dimension of meanings. Exploring the dream, and what it means to
can lead you to deep insights.
Exploring it means looking at it from the inside, experiencing it in a deeper was as opposed to grasping for a standard meaning. It means living it, feeling it, so that deeply relevant meaning can emerge from this experience.
This gives you insights, which may or may not be easy to articulate
into words. But whatever words you come up with, they will be rich in
meaning for you. Because these words have a direct connection to what
is truly meaningful to you: the experience itself.
See: Why do people dream? What causes dreams? How does this affect dream analysis & interpretation? (7 minute audio)
See also concrete examples of how this process works:
- Interpreting meaning of recurring dream of radio host live on air (19 minute audio)
- Two videos of this creative process of dream interpretation: (video 1) - (video 2)