Seven Steps to Dream Interpretation

Posted by: Brittney Zellner

seven steps to dream interpretation - 7 stepping stones

Interpret all dreams?

I don’t believe that every dream dreamed needs a full detailed interpretation. Indeed most dreams cannot be fully interpreted as much as they occur. I do interpret almost every dream I dream. However, when I am dealing with transitions and busy life, I do the best I can and write them down and save them for later interpreting. These seven steps for dream interpretation come in handy for me. They may also come in handy for you.

Most of my friends of whom I have explained the seven steps of interpretation will, to some degree, attempt to interpret their own dreams based on what I have taught them. Sometimes they will get the gist of their dream on their own. Very often, they will know what Abba is attempting to communicate to them in order that they may make changes or have some resolve. Though sometimes they do feel what is being conveyed is just outside of their grasp. In these cases, they will ask for help.

Only I can interpret dreams?

To be clear, I do not feel that I am the only person who can interpret dreams. I am not even saying that I always interpret them perfectly and correctly. However, I do feel that most people do not devote the amount of time it takes to understand dream interpretation. More importantly, many do not have the passion required either.

I have read many “interpret your own dream” articles and can tell you that without the understanding that your dreams are for your own personal and internal path and that this path is always attempting to reach the kingdom, you will not benefit much if at all from understanding the symbols of your dreams.

The purpose of dreaming is not for fun. The purpose is to goad you on. Without that push, you might as well have been the first to discover the wheel only to use it as a kitchen table. These seven steps to dream interpretation will hopefully help you to avoid such situations.

What follows is a basic set of steps that goes into the interpretation of a dream.

This is only the most rudimentary process. You may ask yourself these questions but keep in mind that this process is not what it appears at first glance. I will give an example of a real dream using this basic method that walks you through the seven steps to dream interpretation. This will show you how each step brings you to the conclusion and overall purpose of the dream.

  1. What was your first impression?

  2. What was your action/what did you do/what were you doing?

  3. How did it make you feel?

These are the first three questions to ask after the dream has been recounted. Write these down and remember that your symbols and feelings may not match or make sense right away.

  1. What are the symbols (objects and subjects)?

  2. What do they represent?

The fourth and fifth questions are where the interpretation begins to take form. The fifth part will be the longest part. It will describe a state of mind that can be in the past, present, and/or future. This part is not easy and takes many years of practice to perfect. For a gifted and mature dream interpreter, this is the part where the picture of the mind and situations of the dreamer become understood.

It is helpful to have a basic understanding of general psychological principles, different types of personalities, and how people think in order to discern an image of a person’s possible issues and situations. Remaining unbiased and objective is crucial. If this is not your dream then you need to do your best to see their symbols from the dreamer’s own point of view. That being said, most symbols have a basic meaning and then that meaning evolves a bit based on the sex of the dreamer, time, experiences, culture, personality, religion, other symbols in the dream, and even more. This part takes time and for the most part, cannot be done on the fly.

  1. What is the correlation in your life?

The sixth question utilizes the dreamer’s brain in a way that is not often used. It is difficult for most and may take some time for them to absorb and answer the question. The dreamer has to be guided to see the interpretation of the symbols as they correlate to actual feelings, situations, circumstances, and visuals of their mind and heart. This is the most difficult stage for most dreamers to get to because their minds have to move past their already preconceived notions. They have to get past what they think their dream means and the nonsense that comes with fantasy dream interpretation.

Death, for example, is something people often dream about. This symbol simply communicates that a huge part of who you are is changing permanently and in a big way that will be difficult to get through. Try explaining to someone that their dream of their dog dying means anything other than their dog dying. It is difficult because the dreamer connects the dog to the real waking life dog they love and therefore confuse the dreamer’s real feelings about the dog with how they would feel if that death actually happened. The interpreter has to guide gently in explaining that the dog in the dream actually represents an emotionally protective part of who the dreamer is personally and the dog’s death in a dream simply means that this emotionally protective part of the dreamer is no longer needed and is now gone.

This different way of thinking is quite difficult for someone who is not constantly thinking in terms of symbolism, so keep that in mind when you are helping someone else.[bctt tweet=”Keep it simple and be patient.”]

  1. What direction is being communicated by Abba?

The seventh question is the most important part of the dream interpretation where the purpose comes completely together. There is no reason to interpret a dream without it. It brings the dream to a full understanding and is the turning point on the path. Spiritual progression is the purpose and also how this communication will bring the dreamer closer to the kingdom.

The whole point of a dream is as a guide or map from God. Communication from Him is on a level that part of us understands all the time and completely. However, sometimes the forefront of our mind needs to also understand in order for us to make conscious decisions. It is these kinds of decisions that will cause the biggest changes that God wants.

Dream Example: Using Seven Steps To Dream Interpretation

A woman had a dream that she was with a group of people and she could see that something was trying to escape from her stomach. She knew it was not a pregnancy and had a feeling it was a parasite. Someone offered to cut it out but she kept telling them that if she could just use the bathroom, the parasite would come out. The only problem was that the toilet didn’t work and there were other problems with the bathroom.

  1. What was your first impression?

Her first impression was that she was quite freaked out. Alerting her that she must pay close attention because real spiritual danger is at hand.

  1. What was your action/what did you do/what were you doing?

She was trying to push her stomach back down every time the perceived parasite began to push out her stomach. She was trying to use the toilet, knowing this would help her.

  1. How did it make you feel?

She felt scared, uncomfortable and knew this was not okay. She wasn’t as freaked out as a person would be in real life physically, however.

  1. What are the symbols (objects and subjects)?

  2. What do they represent?

The symbols and their meanings were:

  • Group – Groups represent part of your personality relating to the issue or situation
  • Stomach – What you can tolerate or handle. Sensitivity in acceptance and vulnerabilities.
  • Fear and panic – Inward fear or panic that is displaced from waking life circumstances.
  • Parasite – Something that drains all of your energy, money, power or opportunities.
  • Pushing from the parasite, her pushing back – Forcing, insistence, pressure, effort, and cyclical repetitions.
  • Cutting – division
  • Using the bathroom – emotional release
  • Broken toilet – inability to release emotions appropriately or at all given that your shame will remain
  • Bathroom issues – Issues with emotional releases and cleansing
  1. What is the correlation in your life?

Her life situation summed up by her:

Currently, this woman is very stressed in life. She has been struggling with getting back into the will of God. This woman explained that she feels He is once again communicating with her through the Sunday message. She also hears Him through her life circumstances. The woman explained that she has a lot of fear and worry in life. She knows that this means there is something wrong with her faith. However, she has the determination to keep going in the direction of seeking God.


The dream represents her cyclical issues of trying to force herself to handle things emotionally that she was not meant to, the back and forth of dealing with/not dealing with her emotions. She has prevented herself from being emotional just telling herself that she can handle it and that she doesn’t need to have Him (Abba) do it. She is just now realizing that the fear she feels is due to the energy drain on her and she knows that if she can just have a good emotional release (cry, outburst, etc) that she will be ok. However, she cannot have this emotional release because she needs to fix how she has the emotional releases so as not to let her shame linger (She has likely been having angry outbursts and is trying to stop).

She has thought about separating herself from the energy drain issues. However, she knows that is not the way to do it. Every time she begins to be aware of this drain on her vulnerabilities, she attempts to push it away from her mind. She would do this by insisting that nothing is wrong. It keeps pushing back though and she knows that she must do something now to get rid of this issue.

  1. What direction is Abba communicating?

What God is trying to say is that she needs to give her fears to Him. This is one of those dreams that communicate directions on how to proceed to correct an issue. The woman is a Christian and has spent some years trying to do things her own way. She has been seeking all the things of this world for many years and has only recently realized that she has to start seeking him first as he can no longer remain on the back burner.

The emotional release that her soul so desires will cause all the changes that she needs to make much easier. If only she can just allow herself to release her strong desire to go her own way. The release, symbolized by using the bathroom, will likely occur as “giving up” and crying. It will likely be in private or with one other person. It will be messy and scary for her and may leave her ashamed. She might have a few revelations during this time that will allow her to move forward easily with greater faith. This is a dream that is encouraging a transition. Abba wants her closer and this is step 1 in that process.

Digging A Little Deeper

These seven steps to dream interpretation are the basics for figuring out the communication our Abba is trying to convey to us. However, every detail is explaining more than you can imagine.

After I figure out the message from Abba, I usually go back to the bones of the dream. I go back to see how well it correlates to what I learned it meant.

If you look a little closer at the dream symbols for this dream and parallel them to Abba’s communication it appears to finally make a little more sense. For instance, the parasite is the biggest issue in the dream to start. This means the parasite as life-draining situations make it appear that Abba really wants her to deal with those situations instead of trying to push them aside. The only problem is, the second issue has to be dealt with first.

The other biggest issue in the dream appears to be the toilet issue. Emotionally, she is dealing with shame that she knows doesn’t go away easily anymore. Toilets in real life break after prolonged use and neglect. If you have many emotional releases but neglect to make sure that you aren’t abusing the necessity of releasing them often and fixing those normal related issues you will find yourself unable to get rid of the lingering shame associated with them. In other words, too many fights or arguments burn bridges. Likewise, too many “psychological breakdowns” cause normally compassionate people to lose empathy quickly.


In conclusion, she needs to work on getting rid of the bad habits/cycles of energy-draining situations she can’t handle. However, she cannot do it easily. Secondly, she needs to realize that unless she begins to fix the lingering shame issues, she will end up feeling quite alone, embarrassed, with shame she cannot ignore or hide. Abba gave her this dream because He cares. He gave it because He sees where her behavior is heading. He knows she does not truly want to end up there.

Please sign up for my free Personal Dream Interpretation Basics Workshop if you would like more details on this process.