How to Interpret Intuitive Symbols that Come Up in Meditation & Dreams | Print |  E-mail
Sunday, 02 October 2011

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Dear Belleruth,
I attended a PTSD workshop of yours. I’m wondering how one can interpret the symbols that may appear during an imagery exercise. For example, in one guided imagery exercise, you asked us to imagine someone or something giving us a present. So, a black stone in a little box was my gift.  How can I know what that may mean? Or is it always highly personal? Are there resources you can suggest?

Thank you.


Dear Michael,

The best advice I can give you is to let the black stone share with you its meaning in its own time and its own way. If you can tolerate the ambiguity of not knowing, you’ll get more out of the symbol. (People who do best with their intuitive knowledge and creativity are people who can stand not knowing “the answers” for extended periods of time, and don’t have to tie everything up quickly in a neat bow...). Whatever this stone means, it is indeed highly personal. This is your stone.

I’m leery of those books that claim to tell you, "If it’s a small, black stone, it means thus and so..", and I’d encourage you to be leery too. And that goes double for those charts that purport to define, in very simple terms, what our illnesses mean ("If you have a kidney infection, it means you are ‘pissed off’.." . I mean, c’mon! We are complex beings and our issues are not amenable to simple, reductionistic, universal interpretation, no matter how relieving it might be to get "the answer" or an answer.

So my advice is this: Hang out with your stone, talk to it, contemplate it, enjoy it, hold it, feel its weight, texture and shape in your hand, and just sit with it, letting it show you what you need to see, tell you what you need to hear, and express what you need to comprehend, in its own way. And this will be your own way. There are no wrong answers here - just trying too hard for a quick one.

Good luck and have fun with your stone.

All best,


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Comments (8)Add Comment
written by Reverend Diane Epstein, October 04, 2011
I agree completely!
written by Peter Culross, October 04, 2011
I agree too Belleruth, much better to perceive your own meaning and truth in relation to symbols emerging from the subconscious rather than simply accept any external dream-dictionary-type definition that may not be relevant for you. However, sometimes I think it can assist people to gain ideas from a good source that you can filter according to your own truth. In the 'Welcoming Dreaming Consciousness' section of the Sleep Better module in my program, I recommend Quentin Watts’ two Australian published books, ‘Dreams: Signs of Things to Come’ and ‘Wake Up to Yourself: The Wisdom of Dreaming’ as a way to gain useful clues to the general and
universal / collective / archetypal meanings of some of the common symbols and motifs found in dreams, and as an aid to increase your personal understanding and association with the diverse symbolic material of your dreams and creative imagination.
written by Peter Culross, October 04, 2011
Further to the above, in the module I add, "In learning to decipher or decode the messages from your dreams, keep in mind that dreams
employ a symbolic, metaphorical language (or ‘visual vocabulary’). There is no one right way of working with dreams. It is wise to refrain from simple ‘cookbook’ interpretations that provide definitive meanings for specific symbolic images, as symbols may have different subjective meanings for different people in different
contexts and life circumstances. So look first at what your dream symbols mean to you personally".
written by Marceline Liptak, October 04, 2011
You could also try the gestalt approach. You become the stone. You start by describing yourself and let it flow..... such as ... I am a black stone, I am smooth and shiny. I live in a small box and..... let yourself go and just flow from there....
written by Belleruth, October 05, 2011
Great insights, resources. Thanks!
written by Marie Sicari, October 05, 2011
I agree with Belleruth and Marceline. I am complete my certification in Integrative Guided Imagery and had a very similar experience working with a client. The significance of the stone was truly powerful when it came to the client. If you'd like to work with someone, you my find a local practitioner on the Academy of Guided Imagery's website (
written by Matt B., October 06, 2011
Thanks, Michael for sharing the moment you recieved your gift. I like Belleruth's feedback and the gestalt suggestion with a slight twist. I have been intrepreting dreams and their symbols for a while now. I have had the help of spirit guides who have come to me, guided and supported me and helpped by answering many of my questions. However, they also result in more questions. :)

I would suggest that you recieve the gift in the best possible way. I would FULLY ACCEPT IT. Feel the energies in your body and move the stone into every space within you. If you feel hesitation then focus on accepting the stone there. That is were you need to accept it. It is your gift and you deserve it. Don't be concerned if your body literally spasmisms as you let go and accept the stone. It's okay and normal. You will feel a deep peace once you've fully accepted it. If you want to do more (and you don't need too - that was already alot), then feel all the love in your heart, every ounce of that energy. When it is resonating through your body, give 100% of it to the stone. Give to you feel like if you give more, then you will die. Don't worry, all the love will come back and be bigger. ...lessons of shared love will be taught to you here.

During anytime of this process, don't be surprised if the stone image transforms into another. When that happens, know you have let go of the old which blocked you from seeing more of the truth, the love.

fully accept love, completley give love and surrender then fullness abounds.

Be Couragous!
written by chris marlowe, October 08, 2011
Hello Michael,
I agree with all that has been said already. In addition you could try this. Before you go to bed at night ask yourself what is the meaning of the gift of the black stone in a little box? You might also begin to think about what stones mean to was a small stone as opposed to a large stone. Was it smooth or was it rough? The box was little as opposed to being large? Aside from being puzzled by the answer that came through from your guided imagery, what other feelings did you have when you saw the small gift box with the black stone inside? Did it seem like it was "not enough" or what? Examine your feelings about that.

In doing this you are prepping your mind for more information and insights to come through in your dreams. Affirm you will indeed receive an answer which you will understand and remember upon waking.
I hope this is also helpful to you.

God bless you.

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