Sunday, February 13, 2011

Guest Dreamer: Snot

The Dream:
Snot is coming out of my nose in an endless strand. It’s gross and a nuisance. I worry someone will see that I'm trying to get it out so I feel that I must extract it quickly.

Thanks to Keryn for this marvelous dream, a good example of how powerfully and economically dreams can encapsulate an unconscious feeling. In my version of Keryn’s dream* my unconscious is telling me there is something I need to express that will not go over well with others. Even I don’t find this thing acceptable, which is why I furtively tug at the snot and want to get it out before anyone notices. My unconscious, however, will not be ignored. It’s sent me this dream repeatedly, which means that I will not be at peace with myself until I resolve the underlying issue.

For example, my issue might be that people were “snotty” to me at school when I was a youngster, and even though I’ve grown up and beyond this distant hurt, I need to recognize that it was a painful experience that still unconsciously affects me. Or my issue might be that someone in my life tends to intrude into my privacy too much; in this case the dream tells me that because a nosy person is trying to pull something out of me I have lost autonomy.

Only Keryn will be able to figure out what her unconscious is so determined to express, but the fact that it is a recurring dream will make that task a little easier. Keryn, think back to the first time you had this dream, and make a list of what was going on in your life. Were there any major life changes taking place, such as a move to a new house or school, or a change in status such as a new job or marriage? Was something important happening with a family member? If you can remember what was going on at subsequent recurrences, list these as well. Be on the lookout for the next recurrence, and examine waking life events in the day or two before the dream. Whatever triggers the dream in the present will be connected to the feeling that prompted the original dream and each recurrence. As you look at these waking life events the pattern will become clear to you, and you will understand your dream.

*For information about why I interpret others' dreams as is they were my own, read A Sample Guest Dreamer
For more information about how to interpret one of your dreams, see Interpret Your Dream


  1. I have a different take on this dream. In my dream, the snot is clogging my nose, and hence I can't "smell" what's going on in my environment. My dream is clearing away the snot so that I can smell better, or for me, rely on my intuition. It clears my head so that I can think/smell better about what I am perceiving. So, for me, the question would revolve around any one of numerous situations in my life, and I would ask am I "smelling them" clearly or am I blocking them with some sort of unconscious defensive mechanism, and if this is a possibility, why I may be doing so.
    Also, Jeremy Taylor says in a taped talk that recurrent dreams are opportunities to become lucid. We can say to ourselves in our dreams that "I am...dreaming....this.....again" and realize we are dreaming, as opposed to waking up and saying "I dreamt this again!". If we can become lucid in the dream, it's my understanding that we can gain much insight from the dream. Emily

  2. Thanks, Emily--two heads are better than one.

  3. That's why I love dream work and this blog! :)

  4. OMG, same dream-multiple times! Up until recently, never dwelled on it. Then I saw a documentary on Egyptian mummification and how they explained its process of extracting the brain, along with the inner organs, out through the nose! I had a slight lean towards believing "maybe I once was Egyptian in my past life" or something. But the theory of keeping shameful secrets from others / lying to oneself makes more (realistic) sense, so thank you all for your words ;)

  5. Beckie Lynn: If I had your reaction to the documentary about mummification I might think that the secret I wanted to keep was that I'm very intelligent--but my brains keep seeping out (through my nose!).

  6. Another dream about snot. Not coming from myself, but I am trying to help get it out of another person - holding tissue for them to blow into, but it just keeps coming out. Any thoughts?

  7. We create our dreams, and the characters we people them with have meaning for our psyches. If you are trying to get the snot out of another person, the first thing I'd think about is this: what does the other person mean to me? What qualities does this person have? Do I share any of them? How do I feel about her? Perhaps I feel that this person needs help in getting out something that is very negative, for example. That might relate to how I actually feel about the person, or it might mean that I feel that way about some aspect of myself that the other person represents.
    Sometimes it takes a while of playing with a dream and looking at it from many angles before its meaning snaps into focus. You'll know when it does.
    Let me know if this line of thought yields anything for you.