I realize many of us would listen to Dr. Estes read the telephone book, as she has a wonderfully friendly, soothing voice. The fact that she always has something intriguing to say makes her work all that much better.
This audiobook is about ninety minutes long, and the focus is on subjectivity. Dictionaries of dream analyses can't work, because ten people dreaming the same dream would make ten different associations to it. Dr. Estes is very careful in emphasizing that, above all, we have to place our own subjective interpretations on everything we dream. After forty-some years of reading dream dictionaries with no success, I was glad to hear this.
Although Dr. Estes is a Jungian and does not believe, for example, that a snake represents a phallic symbol, she does give thirteen universal archetypes and their "typical" meanings. I had a problem with this section. For instance, she tells us that one common dream concerns hair loss, which is universally interpreted as losing one's power or strength. The only example she gives is the biblical one of Sampson losing his physical strength when his hair is cut. I had a dream of losing hair decades ago when my angry mother threatened to cut my long auburn curls, and I don't think it had anything to do with strength, as short hair was in style and I'd looked fine with short hair before. I was afraid of my mother, and to me, that was obvious. Also, not everyone believes in the Judeo-Christian bible, so assuming hair loss equals strength loss just doesn't seem like a universal connection.
I had another problem with the audiobook. Dr. Estes tells us to write down the nouns (people, places, and things) in our dreams. Many of my dreams involve emotions; sometimes there aren't even nouns involved. I've spoken to other people who experience nausea dreams or jasmine-scented dreams, and none of us know how to interpret them.
The problems I've listed are small in comparison with the impact this dream interpretation guide had on graphic, semi-lucid, recurring dreams I'd been experiencing. Using what Dr. Suzette Hadin Elgin calls a "thought map," I used what nouns I could remember and interpreted these dreams with the help of Dr. Estes's information. That was about a week ago, and those graphic nightmares have stopped.
If you're tired of reading that a dark shadow indicates impending death, and that rosebuds mean you're about to "bloom" a new idea, give Dr. Estes a try. She provides the sanest information on dreams I've come across in my almost sixty years.
Thank you, Dr. Estes, for another excellent bit of insight.