The messages we receive in our dreams are no accident - something which has been proven by numerous analyses by psychologists, beginning with Sigmund Freud's work. Even the Bible stresses the significance of dreams in predicting future events, stating that a holy angel appeared to Mary to inform her that she would give birth to the son of God.
Dreaming is the only process that links the subconscious part of the brain with the part that reasons, without the need for additional intervention.
Symbols in dreams can and should be interpreted, since our subconscious is trying to relay information to us that our conscious isn't noticing or is suppressing. Dreams can also predict imminent death.
Before he was assassinated while attending a play, president Abraham Lincoln had a dream that he was lying in an empty grave. Napoleon and Hitler also had prophetic dreams, where they saw themselves as conquerors.
Caesar's wife, Cornelia, dreamed of his murder hours before the Roman general was attacked and stabbed 23 times by his opponents in the Senate. Cornelia's dream of her husband's murder was exactly like it would happen in real life.
When you experience severe distress in a dream, always look for a link between that dream and reality. It doesn't necessarily mean that something bad is going to happen but your anxiety is trying to warn you about a danger you're faced with that you haven't noticed.
Recurring dreams especially are a sign that you are ignoring a very real danger that you definitely need to consider.
The clearest sign that you need to be careful is the appearance of fire in your dream. Remember the way you react if you're trying to put the fire out or if just witnessing a fiery disaster. Your subconscious is in this way giving you a hint what you should do in real life in order to deal with the danger.
In Western Europe during the Middle Ages, dreams were thought to be messages from Satan, interpreting them was considered witchcraft and therefore prohibited. In the East however, dreams were seen as a divine force and a cult for the god of dreams was formed.
In Mesopotamia, they worshiped 2 patron gods of dreams: Nabu, who represented wisdom-bearing and peaceful dreams and Gilgamesh, who represented nightmares. Through interpretation of the symbols, they made predictions of what was to come.
The ancient Egyptians believed that dreams were warnings from the gods. When, for example, the god Serapis, who was blind and paralyzed, appeared in a dream it was a sign one would soon fall sick.
The first dream dictionary was compiled by Roman diviner Artemidorus, who collected and analyzed about 3000 dreams and reached the conclusion that the majority of them were of a prophetic nature and passed down important information to us.