If you want to discover for yourself what your dreams tell you, try the techniques described below. They are meant to be practised after you have written down your dream so you can analyze it.
You don't have to wait until you have waken up to analyze your dream - when you are lucid, you can ask for answers right inside your dream.
These techniques are developed by Pamela Ryan.
Look for patterns and recurring themes. If you don't "get it" the first time, your brain often sends you the same dream-message again. Many people experience recurring dreams, or even recurring nightmares. That's just your brain, trying to get your attention and convey an important message to you!
View each character as an aspect of yourself. For example, if there is a devil in the dream, see what happens if you view that character as "the devilish/destructive part" of yourself.
Even if the character is someone you know in real life try using this technique. Instead of your mother, maybe the character represents the motherly part of you, or a part of you that is like your actual mother.
Explain your dream simply
Explain your dream in the simplest, most basic terms possible. Pretend that you are explaining it to an alien, who needs you to define almost every word.
For example, if your dream involved a car, imagine that an alien doesn't understand what a car is. You must explain that a car is a device you use for transportation -- to get from one place to another, to move forward. You may be surprised by the meanings that are revealed!
Interview dream characters
Some people find it helpful to imagine that they have returned to the dream, and then they engage dream characters in imaginary conversations. (Of course when you are lucid, you can have this conversation directly inside your dream!)
So if you dream about a mysterious shadowed figure, you might question the figure, asking, "Who are you?" ... "Why do you hide yourself from me?" ... "Why have you come to me?"
Consult a dream dictionary
(But be very sceptical).
There are many such dictionaries. Sometimes, the listings can provide you with insights. Other times, the suggestions are pretty silly. Only accept an interpretation if it "clicks" and feels right to you.
is a nice online dream dictionary.
Share your dreams with others
Get their input. Again, do not accept friends' interpretations unless they feel right to you, giving you an "aha!" feeling of recognition.
This list of questions is adapted from two sources: The Jungian-Senoi Dreamwork Manual by Strephon Kaplan-Williams and a Dream Journal Form (author unknown).
Take one dream you want to unravel and answer the questions listed below:
What am I doing?
How am I, the dream ego, acting in this dream? (aggressive, assertive, passive, active, etc)
How do I feel?
What are the various feelings and emotions in the dream? (Both mine and those of other characters)
What is the context?
What is the context of my dream?
What is going on in my life right now?
Who are the main characters?
Who are the main characters in this dream?
Who/what is the adversary?
Who/what is being wounded?
Who/what is being healed?
Who/what)is my companion?
Did I dream of actual people, or imaginary people?
Could the characters all be different aspects of myself?
Which are important symbols?
What are the outstanding features or symbols in the dream? (For example: flood, animals, house, etc.)
How might these features relate to me, my emotions, or my personality?
How does it relate to me?
What are the actions?
How does the dream as a whole relate to my personality?
What are the main actions and who is performing them?
What am I avoiding?
What would I like to avoid in the dream?
What does it want?
What does the dream want from me?
What actions might it be suggesting that I consider?
Are any memories triggered?
Does the dream trigger any memories?
Do any of the elements of the dream relate to my past?
Why might this part of my past be called to my attention now?
Do I have questions?
Does the dream trigger any further questions?
What are the answers?
Why did I dream this?
Why did I need this dream?
What is its positive message for me?