Psychology of Dreams
The legitimate science of interpreting what dreams mean to you and I has its roots in the birth of modern psychology. The fathers of modern psychology are without dispute Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. Both of these brilliant men redefined psychology, as we know it. They were contemporaries and at different times good friends and bitter enemies. But their philosophies of how the mind works are so different that to this day, if you pick a psychologist, you pick him based on whether he is a Freudian or a Jungian therapist.
One of the things that both psychologists agreed on although in different ways was that dreams are an important window into the inner working of the mind. They also agreed that dreams carried meaning and by finding the proper interpretation of your dreams can open up new information about what is going on in your psyche and perhaps lead to better mental health. This is all good news if you have suspected that your subconscious is sending you messages through your dream life. So the key is to learn to use the psychology of dreams to learn what your dream life is trying to tell you.
If you set out to get all the books on dream interpretation, you could fill many bookshelves with your findings. Of course, many of these sources are not trustworthy. Dream analysis methods that are not grounded in psychology but that base their approach on psychic events, communication with spirits or on something someone who has a web site came up with are no more help than for us to just guess what our dreams mean ourselves.
But if you did compile that library, some of those books would include dream dictionaries, which will give you a detailed guide to what the imagery in your dreams means based on cultural stereotypes. Jung himself put together an extensive dictionary on this topic himself. There is some validity to this approach because we all do learn common symbolic imagery. For all of us, the symbol of the cross means one thing and the symbol of the flag of our country tends to be easy to understand. So if we see those images in our dream life, a dream dictionary will probably interpret that correctly.
But we must not overlook that our dreams are all based on our own experiences and our own personal language of what things mean. Any good guide to interpret dreams starts with what state of mind you are in as well as the state of your relationships and your stage in life. Your psychology is all deeply rooted in who you are and your dreams will reflect that.
By using that orientation, you can often find the meaning of your dreams because it is grounded in the meaning of who you are and what your subconscious wants to tell you about that identity. If you start there many of your most profound dreams can carry very important messages to you that are worth understanding because they can change your life in profound ways.