My snarky response to the question, “Why R Dreams So Strange?”

“Though we appear to be sleeping, there is an inner wakefulness that directs the dream…that will eventually startle us back to the truth of who we are.” ~Rumi

The SADDLE formula came to me one day during a live interview in response to a series of questions being asked by a radio show host. The questions he asked I must have heard a thousand times…but something snarky (I’m not normally snarky) bit its way through me. The interview went something line this:

Host:Why don’t dreams make sense? Why are they so strange and weird? If they really do have important messages for us, then why don’t they just spell it out so we can understand them?”

Me: “It sounds as though you think your dreams should behave like a domesticated house pet—like they are something cute and fluffy that should sit, stay, or roll over when you snap your fingers. What if your dreams are wilder than that? What if they are more like a fire-breathing dragon than a docile house pet? Your dreams won’t be tamed like your dog. If you truly want a relationship with your dreams, then treat them like the powerful dragon (like the “Ikran” in James Cameron’s movie, ‘Avatar’) they truly are!

Give up the expectation that your dream’s meaning will come down and meet you on the ground floor. Instead, be willing to rise to a higher level; learn to speak its language; follow its lead; and go where it leads. In essence, if you show your dreams the respect they deserve, conduct your life in such a way as to accommodate its needs (proper attention, sleep, diet, and adherence to your intuitive-soul-dream messages), you will in effect raise your consciousness to a higher vibration, As you do this, your dreams will become your greatest ally. They will invite you to SADDLE up and have the ride of your life…night after night. And as a byproduct of this practice, you will become more confident, fearless, intuitive, insightful, shamanic, powerful, and a force to be reckoned with… in all your daily affairs…and beyond.”

The host of the radio show looked scorched, but I think he got it. He’s asked me back as a regular guest, so I think my snarkiness didn’t singe him too much!

Now, let’s see it we can approach our wild, emotional dreams with a hint of logic, for the purpose of decoding our dreams.

Step one is to write down your dream in narrative form, on a blank sheet of paper or in your journal. Once you are done with that, write the word SADDLE across the top of a blank page:


Beneath each letter fill in the information that relates to your dream as follows:

  1. Symbol—What are the major symbols in your dream?
  2. Association—What are your associations with these symbols?
  3. Dream Dictionary—Cross reference it with a book of symbols or a dream dictionary (i.e., I Had The Strangest Dream…the Dreamer’s Dictionary for the 21st Century) to see if it can fill in the gaps to give you a broader, more archetypal understanding.
  4. Life—Is there any part of your dream that seems to directly tie into what is happening lately in waking life?
  5. Emotions—What are the major feelings/emotions/energies present in your dream?

For example:

Olivia dreamed she was disembarking a cruise ship and once she hit dry land she realized she left her purse and little dog behind in her room. She awoke feeling panicked.

This is how she decoded the message of her dream in her dream journal:

S (Symbol)
-Disembark-Cruise Ship-Dry Land
-Purse (abandoned)
-Puppy (abandoned)
A (Association)
-Switching gears from fun to work mode-Cruising, enjoying myself
–Practical reality
-Money issues
-Best Friend
DD (Dream Dictionary)
Exit: Completion, end of a cycle; time for change, transition
Cruise Ship: Leisure, time to cruise, take it easy with relationship
Earth: Grounded; practical,
Purse: Purseonal power, identity, self-worth, money issues
Puppy: innocent, playful, instinctual aspect of self
L (Life)
I’ve been struggling lately over issues of caretaking my ailing mother versus taking care of my own well-being.In my life and in relationships I tend to go to extremes, either I’m being a martyr, or extremely selfish—out of reaction.
E (Emotion)
My overall feelings I recall from this dream are panic, loss, and worry.

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