Ever rolled out of bed, scratched your head and thought: What in the world did that dream mean? Analyst Lauren Lawrence is here to help decode the secrets behind USA TODAY readers' dreams.

More than money

DREAM: I dreamt I was standing alone at a lavish party amidst many people whom I did not know. I was feeling a bit uncomfortable when a complete stranger singled me out, gave me an envelope, and then disappeared almost like an apparition. I opened the envelope and saw it was filled to the brim with one hundred-dollar bills. I had no idea who he was or why he gave the envelope to me. What does this mean?

                                                                        —Joyce Brooks, Cos Cob, Connecticut

ANALYSIS: In this wish fulfillment dream, much more than cash is received. For the wish to receive is often a compensation for what was taken away in the past. As such, the dream serves to eliminate the former loss experience. More than likely the “complete stranger” is a repressed individual the dreamer does not wish to recognize or acknowledge, a paternal figure or a former love, perhaps. Yet the unknown gift giver may also symbolize the universe. In this view, the dreamer gets her fair share, her recompense, and/or achieves some form of desired recognition. After all, she was singled out at a party, enveloped, if you will, by a necessary nurturing presence. In another view, the dream is a confirmation of self-worth.

Flying high

DREAM: I had been going through a rough patch emotionally when I dreamt an eagle, a red-tailed hawk and a raven flew unusually close to me in the air where they paused mid-flight as though trying to tell me something. I could touch them which in life I could not do. I know I connected with them because I understood that we were communicating without words which was a calming relief. What is the meaning here?

                                                                       —Elisabeth Thieriot, Tiburon, California

ANALYSIS: Symbolizing flight, birds reveal the emotional need of the dreamer to rise above the troubled world to another level of consciousness and understanding—a higher realm where words are no longer needed. In this view, communication is an issue. This is why the dreamer is calmed and relieved to silently commune with the birds. A bird’s eye view may be required---a view that brings greater perspective. On another level, communing with birds is self-empowering: It allows the dreamer to align herself with winged, heavenly creatures. As they say, birds of a feather…

About the author: Lauren Lawrence has a master's degree in psychology from the New School for Social Research and has written seven books about dreams. She has previously written dream columns for George magazine and the New York Daily News.

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